Global Health Council, Inc.

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Seventy-second World Health Assembly (A72/1)
Agenda Item: 
18.1 WHO reform processes, including the transformation agenda, and implementation of United Nations development system reform

Global Health Council provides these comments in response to recent recommendations on WHO Governance Reform Process and the engagement of non-state actors. GHC continues to welcome the opportunity to enhance the quality of our engagement with WHO. GHC and our nearly 90 members see great value in how civil society contributes to important policy dialogues, given our robust experience and collective expertise across issues and settings. Moreover, we want to emphasize the importance of WHO engagement with community stakeholders, not just civil society organizations, at the country level as well. Broader engagement with community stakeholders would allow global policy discussions to be carried forward at the national level.
As non-state actor participation in meetings has increased, it is critical to ensure that engagement with non-state actors and community stakeholders is effective and efficient, while still allowing all voices to be heard.
As Member States continue to consider how to improve engagement with non-state actors, we recommend the following:
· Access to relevant meeting documentation should be provided well in advance of meetings, ensuring that statements from non-state actors can be most effective. Non-state actors should be encouraged to share statements in advance, providing an opportunity for member states to review our input prior to developing their own.
· While we support an open consultation, these, should supplement not substitute for our limited participation in formal governing meetings. These meetings should be structured to maximize attendance and participation of Member States and non-state actors, to ensure meaningful interaction.
Non-state actors often represent diverse coalitions. It is important that the varied perspectives they represent are allowed to be heard in critical discussions. Clear guidelines regarding the size and composition of non-state actor delegations should be shared well in advance of meetings.