WHA65 Day 4 (24 May)


Link to official WHO daily summary for Thursday 24.05.12:

WHO reform (Item 12)

After a general discussion on WHO reform, the debate focused on three main issues: priority setting, governance and management.
Much of the attention of the Committee was taken up by a long running debate over the proposed five ‘categories’ which figure centrally in the draft outline GPW. Paraguay, Bolivia, Brazil and Colombia argued that there should be a new category, perhaps called Social Determinants or Sustainable Development. While some countries expressed their concern on re-opening an issue that was already discussed during the February meeting, Switzerland took a more nuanced approach affirming that SDH should rather be a horizontal bar cutting across all categories. Many countries aligned themselves either with UNASUR or with Switzerland.
Dr Chan recognized that more work is to be done on priorities and that the next version of the GPW 12 will provide more details. The Director General (DG) explained also that the draft priorities list will be based on the Country Cooperation Strategies (CCSs) in consultation with the Global Policy Group. However, Switzerland advised that many donor states did not have CCSs with the Secretariat.

Concerning governance, Members States discussed the rescheduling of the WHO governing body meetings. The DG reported on this matter saying that she recommends to maintain the status quo because the rescheduling would have several logistical and financial implications. Therefore Member States agreed to maintain the present schedule of governing body meetings and return to the topic in January 2013.
On another note, India requested the Secretariat to present a paper on engagement with stakeholders and private commercial entities, for clarity on the current procedures.
Switzerland raised another delicate issue - the need for changes to the rules of procedure of the governing bodies to limit the number of agenda items- asking the DG to consult with Member States on this topic.

Under management, there was a discussion on the proposed Financing Dialogue. Several countries were cautious on this proposal, emphasising that the governing bodies have to remain in charge of the WHO agenda. Thailand, backed by Ecuador, commented that we have had zero grow of assessed contributions for two decades and that Member States should pay more for this organization.
Concerning the independent evaluation, the European Union commented that the first stage of the evaluation came out rather late, and that it is unclear who will carry out the second stage.

Non communicable diseases (Item 13.1)

The draft decision proposed by the delegations of Australia, Barbados, Brazil, Norway, Russian Federation, Switzerland, Thailand and USA was approved.
A drafting group, chaired by Barbados reported that 13 Member States participated in the drafting of resolution. The group met for a total of 8.5 hours over three sessions in an attempt to reach consensus. The group proposed that in recognition of the fact that setting of targets is both technical and political, there is the need for Regional Committees and other regional constituencies to be involved in the target setting process. Secondly, a range of indicators were brought forward and discussed. There was sufficient agreement that the mortality target should be adopted by this WHA in order to report to the UN General Assembly in September.

Nutrition (Item 13.3)

The comprehensive implementation plan received support from Member States during the continued debate on Wednesday evening. Continued discussion occurred on including additional targets and need for research. NGOs were given the floor following Member State interventions; their points included an emphasis on the progress as well as the continued challenge of nutritional needs in the world as well as support for additional targets and the need for research. No conclusions were reached due to the expiration of the meeting time; the item will be taken up again on Friday.