The Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) was pleased to join a statement last week urging the World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board to ensure that civil society can continue to access and provide input to WHO decision makers.

The statement reminded the Board that according to the Global Action Plan for health, civil society engagement will be essential to achieving the health Sustainable Development Goal. The statement was submitted by UICC on behalf of the International Society of Nephrology, WCRF International and the Union, supported by NCD Alliance and the Global Health Advocacy Incubator.

The statement was provided in response to proposals that could restrict civil society engagement at the World Health Assembly. It provides recommendations to ensure that civil society can continue to contribute to public health policy solutions.

The Executive Board sets the agenda and implements the decisions of the World Health Assembly, which meets annually in Geneva to make decisions and set policy for WHO. The Assembly is composed of delegations from all WHO member states.

Recommendations from the statement include:

  • Safeguard the involvement of people living with NCDs, carers, youth, marginalized groups and those from lower income contexts.
  • Establish a diverse working group to consider the potential impact of WHO proposals.
  • Use online consultations to increase accessibility for groups with limited resources.
  • Remove restrictions on the ability of civil society organizations to support multiple statements, or seek support from additional groups.

Kyra Berasi, JD, LL.M, GHAI Legal Advisor, also presented a statement to the Executive Board on behalf of the Global Health Council highlighting the importance of robust and diverse Non-State Actor participation.

GHAI supports civil society organizations who advocate for public health policies that reduce death and disease. We recognize that civil society advocacy is crucial to helping countries commit to, plan, fund, implement and learn from public health successes.

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