Medicus Mundi International
MMI appreciates this opportunity to address the EB PHM and TWN support this statement.
We would like to express our concerns about the repeated statement from the DG that FENSA is not a fence and that WHO is moving from risk aversion to risk management. We would like to recall Para 5 (g) of FENSA which states “any engagement be effectively managed, including by, where possible, avoiding conflict of interest and other forms of risks to WHO”.
We would like to share our analyses of the 71 NSAs that applied for the renewal of official relations status. We found 64.8% disclosed PS funding. Of the 71 NSAs, 24 receive 30% or more of their funding from the PS. This link to the PS has implications for the framing of the collaborative work program and exposes WHO to conflicts of interest when framing the joint work program in consultation with these NSAs. We thus call up the Secretariat to rigorously implement Para 13 of FENSA, i.e. to identify through due diligence whether a NSA is subject to the influence of private sector entities.
Another important lacuna in the implementation of FENSA is the lack of policy to address the institutional conflict of interest. In the absence of such a policy, the Secretariat cannot implement FENSA in its letter and spirit.
We urge the Secretariat to implement FENSA rules without discrimination. We remind the DG that during the last WHA, a NSA not in official relations was allowed to sit throughout in Committee A in clear violation of FENSA provisions.
Lastly, we look forward to the due evaluation of the implementation of FENSA and its impact on WHO’s work. We urge MS to ensure that the evaluation is conducted in an independent and transparent manner and addresses the identified flaws and implementation challenges.