In a world threatened by conflict, inequities, the climate crisis and pandemics, the Seventy-fifth session of the World Health Assembly will stress the importance of building a healthy and peaceful planet by harnessing science, data, technology and innovation.
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.
“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 will kick off with a high-level segment on 22 May 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 will 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 will publish 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 2020-2021 Results Report, also published before WHA, summarizes the Organization’s achievements and challenges in implementing the programme budget.
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.
Agenda items will be discussed in Committee A, which deals with predominantly programme and budget matters, and Committee B, which deals mainly with administrative, financial and legal matters. Details can be found in the provisional agenda. The venues at the Palais des Nations are: Plenary — room XIX; Committee A — room XX; and Committee B — room XVII.
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 Health Assembly is WHO’s highest decision-making body, setting out the Organization’s policy and approving its budget. WHA is attended by delegations from all WHO 194 Member States. The Health Assembly’s agenda is prepared by the Programme, Budget and Administration Committee of the Executive Board, which will meet on 18-20 May, 2022.
The Health Assembly is open to Member States, Associate Members, Observers, invited representatives of the UN and other participating inter-governmental organizations and non-State actors.
A preliminary timetable is available here: Preliminary daily timetable for the Seventy-fifth World Health Assembly.