The beginning of a busy WHO season

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Rose, IAPO’s Senior Membership Officer, blogs on preparing for the WHO Regional Committee meetings, what members can expect from attending, and how we work to include you in advocacy at WHO.

Since I joined the team in March of this year, I have been lucky enough to learn about, and be involved in, multiple aspects of IAPO’s membership and policy work. The last few weeks have been a particularly busy and exciting time, with preparation for the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Committee meetings in full swing. IAPO has 'official relations status' with WHO, and through this, we are fortunate to be invited to actively participate in Regional Committee meetings, held every year all over the world.

This month, three meetings take place. We are delighted to be supporting four IAPO representatives to attend alongside a Governing Board Member. The opportunity to attend, meet WHO staff, and make interventions, is one of the special benefits we offer to IAPO Members, as well as the chance to speak about IAPO’s policy positions, with senior representatives and decision makers in their region. 

Giving a voice to patients

We feel privileged to be able to give voice to patients and patients’ organizations all over the world, to ensure that their perspectives are heard (and most importantly, listened to!) by people and organizations which make policy decisions which may affect their lives.

By supporting member attendance to WHO Regional Committees, we are not only keen to support their voices, but also that they develop real and useful knowledge about the global health decision-making architecture. We hope that by attending, members will take back to their own organizations ideas and understanding of how they might engage in the future, what other stakeholders’ priorities are in the region, and how IAPO works to promote our objectives and values. At present, we can cover the costs for one member in each WHO region to attend their Regional Committee meeting each year. We also provide attendees with a policy briefing including instructions on delivering statements to the Committee on specific agenda items, if relevant.

A big thank you

Thank you to all member representatives who applied to attend – we love to hear from every one of you, and appreciate the time it takes. With this in mind, we will be asking members who attend to produce short blog posts about their experiences, which we will share after each meeting: in this way we want to spread the knowledge gains to everyone, even those who cannot be there. Watch this space over the next few weeks!

*Photo of IAPO representatives at the WHO EURO meeting in 2014