[Ip-health] Sridhar, Gostin and Yach in Foreign Affairs- Healthy Governance: How the WHO Can Regain Its Relevance

Thirukumaran Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Fri May 25 06:18:03 PDT 2012


Healthy Governance
How the WHO Can Regain Its Relevance
By Devi Sridhar, Lawrence O. Gostin, and Derek Yach
May 24, 2012

DEVI SRIDHAR is Lecturer in Global Health Politics at Oxford University. LAWRENCE O. GOSTIN is Professor of Law at Georgetown University, Faculty Director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, and Director of the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Center on Public Health Law and Human Rights. DEREK YACH is Senior Vice President of Global Health and Agricultural Policy at PepsiCo and former Executive Director of the WHO (Note: This essay reflects his personal views and not necessarily those of PepsiCo.)



The WHO also needs to embrace the private sector. By giving responsible partners in industry a seat at the table, the agency will benefit from their expertise in science, operations, financing, and marketing. Unlike the tobacco and alcohol industries, which market and sell dangerous products, the food and beverage, pharmaceutical and medical, and sporting goods industries have clear interests in being part of the conversation. Firms recognize that markets are stronger when they are populated with healthier consumers. To embrace industry, the WHO will have to overhaul its budget process and rally support within the World Health Assembly. But given resistance from member states to open governance processes to nonstate actors, this has been a tough sell. In recent years, the World Economic Forum has played a leadership role in bringing the private sector together with the WHO to develop common approaches to NCDs.


Thiru Balasubramaniam
Geneva Representative
Knowledge Ecology International (KEI)

thiru at keionline.org

Tel: +41 22 791 6727
Mobile: +41 76 508 0997

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