Norwegian statement on WHO reform, WHA 65.
I wish to take this opportunity to remind all of us that the 2010 report “The Future of Financing for WHO” was the point of departure for this reform process. The litmus test for the reform will be whether we can agree on a functional financial model, which ensures that the governing bodies set the priorities for this Organization.
Norway has been supportive of the efforts to establish an open, transparent and democratic financing model from the start. We found the model presented to the Board in January this year to be a good point of departure. The following comments are based on that model, and on the current calendar of meetings:
First, the purpose of the financing dialogue should be to finance priorities agreed upon by Member States. These priorities must be set at the WHA and mark the starting point of the financing dialogue. We believe an open meeting where member states and other donors openly can share information on how to finance agreed priorities should be part of such a dialogue. This would also give the DG some indication of the funding potential for the coming biennium.
The status of the financing dialogue should then be presented to PBAC and the Board at the beginning of the biennium. Experience shows that funds covering approximately two-thirds of the budget are available at this point. The Board would then mandate the Director General to mobilize the lacking funds, in a coordinated and transparent manner, and fully aligned with the priorities and financial allocations of the adopted programme budget.
The organization-wide resource mobilization should be centralized, and led by the DG. This implies that the DG will also be mandated to say no to money that is not within the agreed budget.
In Norway’s opinion, such a financing mechanism would increase the democratic and transparent nature of the Organization. It would also contribute to increased accountability in the Organization.
Governance: We support option (d) for scheduling meetings of the governing bodies in a way that links the RC with the global governing bodies in a single sequence over the calendar year. If this option is chosen, we would be flexible with regard to the timing of the financing dialogue, and could support the proposal in para 95 that places it between the PBAC/EB in the spring and the WHA in the fall.
As regards alignment and harmonization of governance processes, we endorse the suggestions in para 22-27.
GPW: We wish to commend WHO for the draft outline of the 12th General Programme of Work that aims to set out a strategic framework for three programme budget cycles. It is positive that we already now see the GPW outline based on the new categories and criteria for priority setting agreed by Member States in February. We expect the first full draft of the GPW12 to be based on these recently agreed categories and criteria, and we suggest this to be made even clearer in the draft decision by the following change to para 1(b):
Delete “framework” in line one and replace it with “criteria and categories”.
We look forward to seeing the first full draft of the GPW together with the draft Programme Budget at the Regional Committee meeting in the fall, as this will provide a clear picture of the future way of budgeting.