July 15, 2024

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“All for Health, Health for All” sets the stage for the Seventy-seventh World Health Assembly

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As the world continues to grapple with the aftermath of the most severe pandemic in a century, the Seventy-seventh session of the World Health Assembly will convene under the banner of “All for Health, Health for All.” Scheduled to run from 27 May to 1 June, with the participation of ministers of health and other high-level country representatives, the Health Assembly serves as a critical platform for addressing existing global health challenges such as HIV, measles and polio, amidst the climate emergency and the rise of conditions like hypertension and obesity. 

One of the pivotal moments anticipated during the Health Assembly is the Pandemic prevention, preparedness and response accord and the amendments to the International Health Regulations, signaling a concerted effort by Member States to bolster global preparedness and response mechanisms.  

A pre-Health Assembly opening event on Sunday 26 May will kickstart the WHO Investment Round efforts, an engagement with current and potential donors aimed at ensuring sustainable funding for WHO. Additionally, the launch on Tuesday 28 May of WHO’s third Investment case will explain the value proposition, in terms of additional lives saved, if the Fourteenth General Programme of Work (GPW 14), WHO’s strategy for 2025–2028, is carried out in its entirety.  

“The cumulative effects of climate change, disease outbreaks and conflict mean ever more pressure on WHO to respond to the world’s health needs,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “This Health Assembly presents our Member States with key opportunities to promote, provide and protect health and well-being for everyone, by adopting the Fourteenth General Programme of Work, the global health strategy for the next four years; by supporting WHO’s continued transformation through the WHO Investment Round; and by making the world safer through the Pandemic Agreement and the amendments to the International Health Regulations.” 

Key highlights and decisions 
Key moments and outcomes expected during the Health Assembly include the approval on 28 May of WHO’s 2025–2028 strategy, GPW 14, to address health-related implications of such megatrends as climate change, ageing, migration, and advances in science and technology. The four-year period represents a window to get the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) back on track. 

Crucial decisions are expected on a range of health priorities such as climate and health, WHO’s work in health emergencies, access to transformative tools, communicable diseases, noncommunicable diseases, mental health, women’s health and the reform of WHO itself.  

The Health Assembly will feature high-level participation from political leaders and ambassadors, and representatives from civil society and non-State actors, underscoring the global commitment to advancing the public health agenda. 

On Friday 31 May, the Health Assembly President will present six 2024 public health awards to eight laureates for outstanding contributions to public health.

Pre-Health Assembly opening events 

Some events will take place on Sunday 26 May, prior to the Health Assembly official opening on Monday morning. The fifth edition of the Walk the Talk: Health for All challenge will start at Place des Nations at 08:00 CEST to promote physical and mental health. Sports and entertainment leaders will be participating, including WHO Goodwill ambassador Didier Drogba; basketballer and childhood obesity control champion Pau Gasol; Olympic and World 800m champion David Rudisha; Swiss, world Paralympic wheelchair marathon champion Marcel Hug; and choreographer and development advocate Sherrie Silver.  

Later on Sunday, 26 May, from 17:00 to 20:00, the All for Health, Health for All event at WHO headquarters will launch WHO’s first Investment Round and host the Grand Prix awards for the Health for All Film Festival. Mezzo-soprano opera singer Farrah El Dibany will also perform. The event will be live-streamed.  

On Monday 27 May, the Health Assembly will open at 09:00 at the Palais des Nations. The high-level segment is expected to begin at 09:30 with the WHO Director-General presenting the Director-General’s Global Health Leaders awards to laureates at about 10:00. (Note: one laureate will receive their award at the 26 May event.) Dr Tedros’ main address will starts at approximately 14:30.   

Strategic Roundtables 
Strategic Roundtables will take place throughout Health Assembly with the theme of “Invest in global health – Invest in WHO.” These events will host discussions among Health Assembly delegates, partner agencies, representatives of civil society and WHO experts on public health priorities. Sessions run from 28 May to 1 June 2024 at 13:00–14:15. A session will also take place on Tuesday evening, 28 May. All sessions can be followed online.  

As WHO’s highest decision-making body, the Health Assembly sets out the Organization’s policy and approves its budget. The Health Assembly is attended by delegations from all 194 WHO Member States. The Health Assembly’s agenda is preceded by the 40th meeting of the Programme, Budget and Administration Committee of the Executive Board, meeting on 22–24 May 2024. After the Health Assembly, the 155th meeting of the Executive Board will take place on 3–4 June. 

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