About WHO

Non-State actors in official relations with WHO

Updated 6 February 2018

“Official relations” is a privilege that the Executive Board may grant to nongovernmental organizations, international business associations and philanthropic foundations that have had and continue to have a sustained and systematic engagement in the interest of the Organization. The aims and activities of all these entities shall be in conformity with the spirit, purposes and principles of WHO’s Constitution, and they shall contribute significantly to the advancement of public health.

The Executive Board is responsible for deciding on the admission of organizations into official relations with WHO and shall review this status every three years. The Director-General may propose international nongovernmental organizations, philanthropic foundations and international business associations for admission. The Director-General can also propose an earlier review based on the experience in the collaboration with the organization concerned.

List of non-State actors in official relations with WHO as approved by EB 144 (January 2019)

Statements by non-State actors in official relations at WHO governing bodies meetings

Non-State actors in official relations are invited to participate in sessions of WHO’s governing bodies. This privilege includes the possibility to make a statement if the Chairman of the meeting invites them to do so or accedes to their request when an item in which the related entity is particularly interested is being discussed. It also includes and the possibility to submit the statement in advance of the debate, for the Secretariat to post on a dedicated website.

NEW: Side events organized by non-State actors in official relations during the 72nd World Health Assembly - 20 to 28 May 2019

As one of the privileges of non-State actors in official relations with WHO, they have the possibility to apply for the organization of side events during the World Health Assembly, subject to conditions and without prejudice to side events organized by Member States, which are selected through a parallel and separate process.