Member States Pull Back WHO from the Brink of Irrelevance, Reach Consensus to Pay More in Dues.

Barely hours before the proceedings came to a close, member states reached a consensus at the final meeting of the Working Group on Sustainable Financing, agreeing in principle for an increase in their contributions to WHO, diplomats told Geneva Health Files.

The road to consensus on this proposal was not without bumps. And compromises had to be made.

A consistent diplomatic effort, and public pressure might have contributed to the break in opposition by some Latin American countries to this much-debated proposal, sources say.

As we had reported earlier, despite an overwhelming support for an increase in assessed contributions (ACs) from most parts of the world, several countries from Latin America continued to express reservations on an increase in contributions, a key sticking point in the overall efforts to make WHO’s finances more sustainable and predictable.

The turning point really came when the U.S. came on board supporting an increase in ACs, albeit, with conditionalities couched in the language of greater compliance, accountability and transparency.

“Without the U.S., it would have been difficult to get other countries on board,” a diplomatic source familiar with proceedings told us.

The source indicated that a key reason for the change in the American position might have been the recent trip under taken by DG Tedros to the U.S. “It seems Dr Tedros turned on the charm offensive, and possibly agreed to whatever was asked”, a developing country diplomat suggested.

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