On 27th-28th March Norway participated in a consultation on the development of a framework for WHO's engagement with Non-State actors. Preparing for this meeting, the WHO published a background document to facilitate discussion. The document suggest an overall framework to establish clear rules of engagement for WHO's engagement with non-State actors, that is NGOs, private sector entities, philanthropic organizations and academic institutions. The goal of this process, which has a long history, is to establish a common policy and procedures for WHO's engagement with these actors in order to increase transparency and quality of engagement.
The WHO needs to be able to engage with non-State actors in order to maintain its relevance and to reach it's goals as laid out by it's General Programme of Work. At the same time it is necessary to safeguard the normative integrity and technical authority of the organization. The final framework and policies will need to take both these aspects into account. To set a clear cut distinction between private sector entities and NGOs is challenging. This makes it all the more important to establish a framework and policies which ensures transparency and manages risk no matter what type of entity it applies to.
Non-state actors provide significant contributions to global health, and Norway believes that with an increased level of coordination and interaction, these contributions could have a far greater effect.