WHO reform: Goverance
Statement by Norway
Norway thanks the secretariat for the report on Governance, which builds on the agreement reached at the November Special Session. Norway has been promoting a stronger and more strategic role for the Executive Board, including a substantial role for the Board in priority setting.
We are in favour of strengthening the PBAC and support the revised Terms of Reference for PBAC as proposed in the report section 1.
Regarding the revised timeline for the meetings of the governing bodies, we support the proposal to move the PBAC meeting to early December. This will give time to review the PBAC report thoroughly ahead of the Board meeting, creating an improvement in governance. The proposal to move the Board meeting to February is an interesting one, but we would like to hear more about the rationale behind it.
We look favourably at the proposal to extending the May session from one to three days. We need to understand the implications of such a change in order to use it to improve governance. Norway does not see this change primarily as an opportunity to expand the number of technical items presented to the Board, but to strengthen the oversight and strategic functions to the Executive Board.
We propose that we at this stage say yes in principle to the extension of the May meeting, and request that the Secretariat comes back to the EB in May with a more detailed proposal on how the division of labour between the two Board meetings should be. We also request an answer to the following questions:
- Will the secretariat have sufficient time to prepare an extended May-session?
- What will an extended session cost?
The experience gained from a revised timeline for should be evaluated after two years.
(We have also noted with interest the proposals by the EU and Canada)
Better alignment of the agendas between Regional Committees and the Board, and increased harmonization of practises of the Regional Committees is another crucial issue. The proposals listed in 3.7 - 3.12 represent improvements in this regard and Norway supports them. We would like to see more proposals on this.
We support streamlining reporting mechanisms and taking advantage of modern technology. We look forward to receiving more concrete proposals before the Board session in May.
Finally, we have one comment on the report “Promoting engagement with other stakeholders and involvement with and oversight of partnerships”. With regard to the many partnerships that the WHO hosts, we would like to recommend an evaluation of WHO’s memberships in them, including an assessment of the added value of WHO’s hosting arrangements.