Over the years we have watched the WHO’s interaction with business interests grow to an alarming level. The new Framework of Engagement with Non-State Actors (FENSA) is supposed to help protect the WHO from commercial organizations having influence on policies and decisions, but unless it is one of the priorities of the next Director General, FENSA will fail to protect both the WHO and the billions of people that need global health policies to be driven by evidence and public interest, not corporate greed. Below is an Open Letter to the WHO DG candidates that rings the alarm.
Keep policy and priority setting free of commercial influence
Open letter to WHO DG candidates published in: The Lancet
“In May, 2017, WHO Member States will meet in Geneva for the 70th World Health Assembly (WHA) and a new WHO Director-General (DG) will be elected. As public-interest non-government organisations (NGOs) involved in global health governance and the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases, we believe that a fundamental consideration for Member States when electing the DG will be how the new leadership will ensure appropriate interactions with alcohol, food, pharmaceutical, and medical technology industries. We invite the three candidates to describe what steps they commit to take to ensure greater transparency, rigor, and public scrutiny of WHO’s policy and regulatory and norm-setting activities so that they are adequately protected from undue commercial interests.