The WHO and the need to strengthen the non-State partner’s voice

The WHO and the need to strengthen the non-State partner’s voice

Posted on December 18, 2019

The EFN is an official non-State partner of the World Health Organisation (WHO) European Region – as such, it is frequently consulted and invited to attend webinars in which to express its opinion on ongoing health policy developments.

During a recent webinar hosted by WHO officials, attended by the EFN and other non-State partners, the civil society organisations raised its voice to express ongoing concerns on the governance at the WHO and the little room for manoeuvre for civil society organisations to make a difference within the organisation’s governing bodies. There should be more topic-specific engagement with non-State actors, so organisations such as the EFN can rightly involve in the decision-making processes. Moreover, the importance and weight of civil society organisations in the healthcare sector are so huge that it cannot be ignored nor diluted at other meetings at which the Member States have more power to influence. 

The EFN believes that the nursing profession, being the largest healthcare profession of all, should indeed be more involved in the decision making processes of the WHO, ensuring that policies and actions are fit-for-purpose and suitable for people working at the frontline of care. Otherwise, the WHO risks addressing the needs of Member States, but not necessarily of their citizens and nurses.

As a reminder, before the EFN became a non-State official partner, it already submitted written input and attended high-level meetings.