Thank you chair,
Norway supports the overall profile of this budget, including the strategic shifts proposed at category level. We also strongly emphasise that the final version of this budget must take into account the implications of the decisions taken regarding the Organisation’s response to the ebola outbreak and, as should be the case in similar situations in the future.
We reiterate, however, our disappointment with the proposed reduction on climate and health. Last year’s WHO Conference on health and climate concluded that there is a need for WHO to strengthen its engagement and effort in this field, and this meeting will consider a draft resolution on the issue of air pollution and health. To deliver on the aspirations of both last year’s Conference and that resolution, we need to see an increase – not a reduction – on this budget item.
We encourage all UN organisations to strengthen their internal oversight capacities. For WHO, this is particularly relevant given the uncertainties associated with the use of direct financial cooperation. We are therefore concerned about the proposed reduction on risk management.
We would also like to reiterate our request for costed deliverables throughout the organization. In this context, we request the secretariat to share with member states the [EBW1] actual estimates that have been used. We believe this would be a useful basis for budget discussions among the Member States.
We are, as others, strongly supportive of a bottom-up approach to planning. However, we all need to be specific about what we actually support. In our view, bottom-up planning is important because it allows the identification of country and regional needs against which priorities may be set, and, preferably, by clarifying the cost of deliverables. The bottom-up process is not a substitute for clear global priorities. Global priorities cannot be the cumulative result of bottom-up input. They must be decided, and making such decisions is the responsibility and prerogative of WHO’s leadership and the governing bodies.
We thank the secretariat for document EB136/inf 3, which usefully describes how the budget proposal has been developed. One specific comment we would make, however, is that it would be useful if the governing bodies in future budget processes could be informed about of the deliberations of the Global Policy Group, and how these have informed the budget proposal.