Lacking Clarity or Strategic Ambiguity?; 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 World Public Health Nutrition Association, London, UK

2 Tobacco Control Research Group, Department for Health, University of Bath, Bath, UK

3 School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Perth, WA, Australia

4 Global Health Policy Unit, Social Policy, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK


This commentary engages with Suzuki and colleagues’ analysis about the ambiguity of multi-stakeholder discourses in the United Nations (UN) Political Declaration of the 3rd High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases (HLM-NCDs), suggesting that blurring between public and private sector in this declaration reflects broader debates about multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSPs) and publicprivate partnerships (PPPs) in health governance. We argue that the ambiguity between the roles and responsibilities of public and private actors involved may downplay the role (and regulation) of conflicts of interest (COI) between unhealthy commodity industries and public health. We argue that this ambiguity is not simply an artefact of the Political Declaration process, but a feature of multi-stakeholderism, which assumes that commercial actors´ interests can be aligned with the public interest. To safeguard global health governance, we recommend further empirical and conceptual research on COI and how it can be managed.


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Volume 11, Issue 7
July 2022
Pages 1215-1218
  • Receive Date: 18 June 2021
  • Revise Date: 29 July 2021
  • Accept Date: 21 August 2021
  • First Publish Date: 01 September 2021