International Federation of Medical Students' Associations

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Meeting: 
144th session of the Executive Board<br>24 January - 1 February 2019
Agenda Item: 
7.1 WHO reform processes, including the transformation agenda, and implementation of the United Nations development system reform
Statement: 

The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations welcomes the continued efforts by the WHO to increase its engagement with non-state actors as part of the Transformation Agenda. Indeed, the ambitious triple billion targets of the General Program of Work cannot be achieved without meaningful participation of all actors in global health.

We would like to draw attention to the recommendations of the WHO-Civil Society Organisation Task Team that IFMSA participated in, particularly those that foster engagement of young people in health decision-making at the national, regional and international level. Youth should be systematically consulted in the development of national policy, including Country Cooperation Strategies, to ensure that the next generation contributes to long term and strategic policy for better health.

The recommendations call for 1-2 dedicated positions for civil society organisations within Member State delegations at WHO meetings. We implore Member States to ensure one of the these positions is for a Youth Delegate who can consult with, and represent the needs of, young people. This has been implemented successfully by a number of Member States.

Additionally, we support the development of an Inclusivity Advisory and Oversight Group to provide formal support to the WHO on gender, youth, equity, and rights. IFMSA works closely with the Senior Advisor on Gender and Youth and looks forward to many collaborations in the future.

The IFMSA is one of only two youth organisations in Official Relations with the WHO, and we are proud to support others by including their representatives in our delegations and advocacy work. We call on the WHO and member states to make every effort to support other youth organisations to engage formally with WHO. This is one important step in strengthening the youth voice in global health decision-making.