Global Health Council, Inc.
Global Health Council welcomes the opportunity to comment on report EB144/34 and the opportunities to enhance the quality of our engagement with WHO. “Nothing about us without us.” It is in this spirit that GHC and our vast network engage in WHO governing meetings. GHC appreciates our official relations status and subsequent invitations to participate in Executive Board, WHA, and other Member State forums. We see great value in how civil society contributes to important global, regional, and national policy dialogues, given our robust experience and collective expertise across issues and settings.
First, GHC consistently delivers statements that reflect the views of many if not all of our more than 75 member organizations. Our interventions represent a cluster of nonprofits and community-based actors, including program implementers, researchers and other expert stakeholders. We can do so more effectively, if we have access to relevant meeting documentation well in advance of the event. That way, we can properly invite and vet input from across our broad constituency as a response. This would also provide an opportunity for member states to review our input in developing their own, particularly as part of government “listening sessions” such as those hosted by the US before WHA.
Secondly, GHC hosts a robust delegation of our members and their staff/volunteers for WHO governing body meetings, as part of our civil society participation. We have adopted incentives for delegates to include representatives from local and middle-income countries as well as youth, to ensure a diverse group of GHC-affiliated attendees.
Regarding the proposal of an informal meeting for non-state actors, we request that such an event does not substitute but rather supplement our limited participation in formal governing meetings. Already, NSAs face multiple limitations to our delegations, statements and side events such that additional restrictions might make our presence less meaningful.