IBFAN at the 68th WHA - the NSA debate

IBFN’s team at the 68th World Health Assembly. From Left to Right: Rebecca Norton and Lida Lhotska (IBFAN GIFA) Annelies Allain (IBFAN ICDC Penang) Joyce Chanetsa (IBFAN Africa) Constance Ching (IBFAN ICDC Penang) Barbara Nalubanga and Edoard Zerba (IBFAN Africa) Patti Rundall (Baby Milk Action IBFAN UK). Elzabeth Sterken, Arun Gupta, Dr Shoba and Marta Trejos left before this photo was taken.

The proceedings of the Plenary and Committee Room discussions at the World Health Assembly are now web streamed   http://www.who.int/mediacentre/events/2015/wha68/webstreaming/en/

Sadly the Working Group meetings on the Framework for Engagement of Non State Actors  (FENSA)are only open to Member States. This is a shame considering their importance.   They have met for 4 days during the Assembly  - 21 hours so far –  and previously several several days.

A big problem is that FENSA  throws everyone together under the term  Non State Actors, allowing food and drink industries and other commercial entities  many appropriate privileges.  The key issues of Conflicts of Interest, who should get Official Relations status and have joint work programmes with WHO  -  has still not be tackled.   And no one will say whether the purpose of FENSA is fundraising.    

Rereading the document and replacing the term  NSA with TNC (Transnational Corporation) shows how confused and contradictory it is.  Perhaps its time to acknowledge that the pressure from the UK, US and some countries to adopt FENSA speedily would have been a great mistake.  From IBFAN’s  perspective  the process should be opened up for public scrutiny and help sought from experts in conflicts of interest.   

Discussions on NCDs have been pushed to tomorrow. Monday.

Press release below. CLICK Here forIBFAN’s  Press release 18th May and here: comunicado de prensa  for  Portuguese version

Click here for Press coverage since then

more will follow

IBFAN at the 68th WHA – the NSA debate was originally published on Baby Milk Action