The World Health Assembly (WHA) has begun in Geneva. This year’s session of the Health Assembly will focus on the theme of “Health for Peace, Peace for Health” and will run from the 22-28 May at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. It will include the appointment of the next WHO Director-General.
In a world threatened by conflict, inequities, the climate crisis and pandemics, the Seventy-fifth session of the WHA will stress the importance of building a healthy and peaceful planet by harnessing science, data, technology and innovation.
“The pandemic has undermined progress towards the health-related targets in Sustainable Development Goals and laid bare inequities within and between countries,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Sustained recovery will require more than ‘getting back on track’ and reinvesting in existing services and systems. We need a new approach, which means shifting priorities and focusing on the highest-impact interventions.”
The Seventy-fifth World Health Assembly has kicked off with a high-level segment with speeches from the elected Health Assembly President, Heads of State, special guests, an address by the WHO Director-General and the presentation of the Director-General’s Health Awards. The Director-General’s speech set out WHO’s five priorities going forward, expanding from the vision delivered at the Executive Board meeting held in January 2022.
Ahead of the Health Assembly, on 20 May, WHO published the latest set of World Health Statistics, its annual compilation of health statistics for WHO’s 194 Member States. The latest edition summarizes trends in life expectancy and causes of death and reports on progress towards global health/development goals for 2020.
The Health Assembly will discuss global strategies on food safety, oral health, and tuberculosis research and innovation. It will also discuss the report of the Working Group on WHO Sustainable financing.
Other key topics under discussion include:
- strengthening WHO preparedness for and response to health emergencies;
- an implementation road map 2023–2030 for the global action plan for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases;
- an Intersectoral Global Action Plan on epilepsy and other neurological disorders 2022-2031;
- prevention of sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment;
- poliomyelitis; and the Global Health for Peace Initiative.
Assembly delegates, partner agencies, representatives of civil society and WHO experts will also discuss priorities for public health in a series of strategic roundtables. Discussions can be followed online here.
The Assembly will be webcast live from the WHO website.