Document Type : Commentary
Heidelberg Institute of Global Health, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
Suzuki and colleagues’ rare and elaborate analysis of the political processes behind the 2018 United Nations (UN) non- communicable diseases (NCD) Declaration discloses various pathways towards influencing global public health policies. Their study should be a wake-up call for further scientific political scrutiny and analysis, including clearly distinguishing between consultations such as UN multi-stakeholder hearings preceding high-level meetings and the actual negotiating and decision making process. While stakeholder positions at interactive hearings are documented and published and thus made transparent, the negotiating process among member states is not publicly known. The extent to which intergovernmental negotiations are influenced at country or regional levels by commercial interests through direct and indirect lobbying outside of public consultations should be given more attention. Lobby registers should be implemented more stringently and legislative footprints required and applied not only to legally binding but also to internationally important documents such as political declarations.