The mission of the GSO is to facilitate dialogue and disseminate information on social issues in order to encourage stakeholders to engage in a broadened search for solutions and policy coherence. This service is based on a participatory process that brings all interested parties together in a neutral space to identify solutions and policies that are coherent. These solutions can then contribute to policy-making at the governmental and intergovernmental levels. Read more about the GSO here.
Statement delivered by Katherine Hagen, Executive Director of the the GSO
Informal consultation with Member States and non-State actors
on WHO’s engagement with non-State actors
The Global Social Observatory commends you, Director-General Chan, for presiding over this initiative and supports your search for a better understanding of the many views on how the WHO might evolve in its rules of engagement with nonstate actors. The mission of the GSO is to facilitate dialogue and disseminate information on social issues in order to encourage all interested stakeholders to engage in a broadened search for solutions and in finding a common ground for working together. We understand that an important distinction is that the GSO provides a neutral forum that is separate from the intergovernmental processes of the WHO and other UN agencies, but it is also the case that in our programs, we seek to engage participants who embrace certain shared values and principles, including
- A shared commitment to promoting an integrative and holistic approach to sustainable development;
- A shared respect for basic human rights, cultural diversity and gender equality;
- A commitment to engage in areas of common interest
We want to highlight the suggestion by Professor Zelltner for bridge building between and among different nonstate actors. The GSO is a unique forum that encourages this kind of cross-stakeholder dialogue, and we believe it is useful for all stakeholders to listen and learn from others in an interactive format. In one of our current projects, we are developing guidance on conflict of interest in a multi-stakeholder setting, and the very three changes to the management of engagement that are proposed in your discussion paper are management approaches that we have identified as important, that is:
- A due diligence approach to examining all interests
- A risk-based approach to identifying conflicts of interest and
- Increasing transparency
The GSO has worked in several settings where the concern about undue influence of powerful groups has been raised but where the key message is that they are indeed there in the world around us and that transparency, due diligence and risk management are the preferred ways to counter the possibilities of undue influence.
As you explore the possibilities for differentiation among the different categories of nonstate actors, we encourage that you do so within the context of applying the overaching principles you have listed in the discussion paper to all categories of nonstate actors and to incorporate the approaches on due diligence and risk management and with a particular emphasis on the benefits of transparency.
Announcement for a Consultation Process on Conflict of Interest in the
Scaling Up Nutrition Movement
The GSO has received a grant to implement a consultation process on Conflict of Interest issues associated with the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement, a program founded and promoted on the principles that all people have a right to food and good nutrition. The GSO project addressing Conflict of Interest is being undertaken from April 2013 to February 2015. See more information here.
This follows on a successful series of interactive events in 2012 on the prevention, control and care of non-communicable diseases. The GSO hosted a 2012 Colloquium Series on Non-Communicable Diseases to enhance understanding on a collaborative multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral approach to prevention, treatment, control and care of NCDs. The Series consisted of five Colloquium Events throughout the year and culminated in the development of a framework for a plan of action on multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral collaboration on NCDs. Please read the overview report on “Lessons Learned” here. Additional background on the Colloquium Series is available here.
Joint GSO-CMBD Initiative to promote
Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration on the Post-2015 Development Goals.
Our focus is on the UN Development Agenda as the centerpiece in a process of global consultations on eleven themes. The GSO is orchestrating a series of multistakeholder dialogues to address the outcomes of the eleven consultations, with the objective of promoting a convergence in establishing the post 2015 development goals. Click here to see a powerpoint presentation from the 24 April webinar.
The GSO looks forward to new opportunities to deliver a safe, neutral space for multi-stakeholder dialogues. All are welcome to apply for GSO membership here to receive regular notices of our forthcoming events.