Thinking Politically About UN Political Declarations: A Recipe for Healthier Commitments—Free of Commercial Interests; Comment on “Competing Frames in Global Health Governance: An Analysis of Stakeholder Influence on the Political Declaration on Non-communicable Diseases”

Document Type : Commentary


1 Healthier Societies Program, The George Institute for Global Health, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia

2 Trinity Business School, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

3 The George Institute for Global Health, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia


As evidence mounts that corporate actor engagement in United Nations (UN) policy- making processes leads to weaker and shallower public health commitments, greater attention is being paid to how to minimise undue interference and manage conflicts of interest (CoI). While we welcome efforts to develop normative guidance on managing such conflicts, we argue that there is the need to go further. In particular, we propose that an index be developed that would assess the health impacts of individual corporate actors, and those actors who fail to achieve a set benchmark would not have engagement privileges. We further propose the establishment of an independent panel of experts to advise on corporate actor engagement as well as on ambiguous and potentially health- harming commitments in text under negotiation in the UN. Recognising that the implementation of such measures will be contested, we recommend a number of practical steps to make their implementation more politically palatable.


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Volume 11, Issue 7
July 2022
Pages 1208-1211
  • Receive Date: 14 June 2021
  • Revise Date: 05 July 2021
  • Accept Date: 20 July 2021
  • First Publish Date: 09 August 2021