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Ten Questions About Internet Governance

On April 23 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the “Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance,” also known as “NETmundial” in an allusion to the global football event that will occur later in that country, will be convened. Juan Alfonso Fernández González of the Cuban Communications Ministry and a veteran of the UN internet governance meetings, raises 10 questions that need to be answered at NETmundial.


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    WHO Denies Industry Money Unduly Influencing Noncommunicable Disease Fight

    Published on 19 November 2012 @ 2:26 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    World Health Organization Director General Margaret Chan today issued a statement attempting to clarify the UN agency’s relationship with the industries – like producers of junk food and soda – in line to be regulated as the UN moves to battle globally rising noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

    “The allegations in these articles are wrong,” Chan said of recent news articles, such as this one by Reuters, asserting that the food and beverage industries are buying a seat at the UN negotiating table. The intergovernmental WHO has sought to retain its credibility as it battles an internal funding crisis. WHO is currently negotiating a framework on NCDs.

    The WHO has strict policies keeping industry at arm’s length and documenting all relationships and potential conflicts of interest, Chan said.

    “[A]ccording to WHO policy, funds may not be sought or accepted from enterprises that have a direct commercial interest in the outcome of the project toward which they would be contributing,” the statement said, adding that advisers with conflicts of interest are excluded from advisory groups. “For this reason, the Organization does not accept funding from the food and beverage manufacturers for work on NCD prevention and control.”

    However, Chan acknowledged that the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has taken money from the food and beverage industries for its NCD work. PAHO “is unique among WHO’s Regional Offices because it contains two separate legal entities – the WHO Regional Office for the Americas (AMRO) and the health agency of the Organization of the American States,” the statement said. “In some areas the two entities may have variations in policy. For example, as mentioned in the media reports, in its capacity as PAHO, food and beverage manufacturers have contributed financially as part of a multi-sector forum to address NCDs.”

    The September 2011 Political Declaration of the High-level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases, included a series of actions.

    “One of these actions,” WHO said, “was to call on the private sector to promote measures to implement WHO recommendations to reduce exposure to the risk factors which contribute to NCDs. The WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health commits WHO to hold discussions with the private sector, but the Organization will not take money from private companies active in food and beverage production for work on NCD prevention and control as implied by the media articles.”

    William New may be reached at wnew@ip-watch.ch.

     

    Comments

    1. WHO says it has not been bought off by the food and beverage industry | Humanosphere says:

      [...] another report from IP Watch on Chan’s defense of the WHO’s protections against conflict of interest. [...]

    2. Latest Developments, November 22 | Beyond Aid says:

      [...] Watch reports that the head of the World Health Organization has denied that contributions from “producers of junk food and soda” are influencing the UN agency’s fight against non-communicable [...]


    Leave a Reply

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

    6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

    9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

     

     
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