[Ip-health] HAI/KEI intervention at the WHA69 on the Framework of Engagement with Non-State Actors

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Sun May 29 05:24:28 PDT 2016


The following is the intervention on behalf of Stichting Health Action
International (HAI) at 69th World Health Assembly, Agenda Item 11.3 -
Framework of engagement with non-State actors.

KEI worked with HAI on the statement, and the statement was delivered by
Thiru Balasubramaniam


It is our hope that the procedures for accreditation of groups in “Official
relations” with the WHO will be made easier and faster for nongovernmental
organizations working on global health issues.

We endorse the prohibition of secondments to the WHO from private sector

We support the proposal, contained in A69/6 to “develop a comprehensive
conflict of interest policy to guide the effective implementation of this
framework.” This policy should require that interest declarations are
transparent and that they be published on the WHO web page. It is
regrettable that this provision did not make the final cut.

We favour the approach of differentiating non-state actors into the four

1. Public Interest Non-governmental organisations,

2. Private sector entities, including business associations representing
commercial enterprises

3. Philanthropic foundations, and

4. Academic institutions

The distinction between NGOs that have public interest goals and private
sector entities with commercial objectives is appropriate, particularly
since the WHO is expected to provide norm-setting and guidelines that are
intended to regulate commercial entities when in conflict with health

The approach to philanthropic foundations deserves more attention, because
the WHO has become extraordinarily dependent upon and influenced by perhaps
two very large philanthropic Foundations. Both inside and outside the WHO,
the largest global philanthropic donor is now perceived to wield
extraordinary influence over the institution, with inadequate transparency
and oversight of this relationship.

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