The World Health Organization (WHO) is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.
In the 21st century, health is a shared responsibility, involving equitable access to essential care and collective defense against transnational threats.
WHO and the WHA
WHO was established 65 years ago to promote health and ease the burden of disease worldwide. The Organization takes direction for its goals and priorities from the 194 Member States it is designed to serve. Each year, senior health officials from Member States convene in Geneva to participate in the World Health Assembly (WHA). The main functions of the WHA are to determine the policies of the Organization, appoint the Director-General, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed program budget, set new goals, and assign new tasks.
GHC and the WHA
WHA allows GHC members to represent civil society and the private sector through participation in discussions with international global health policy makers and provide valuable input into proposed resolutions. WHA is a unique opportunity for the GHC to network with its international partners and help prioritize the GHC’s own agenda. Through the delegation, we can engage more effectively as a team through your support and by representing GHC at multiple meetings, briefings, plenaries, and side events.
Each year, the GHC has sent a delegation to WHA for more than a decade. During the period when the GHC administered the Gates Award, the GHC used the WHA as a platform to announce the award winner at a GHC/Gates sponsored side event. Throughout the years, the GHC has partnered with many of its member organizations at multiple WHA events.
Learn More about Upcoming and Past WHA Sessions
67th Annual WHA
• Tentative dates: May 19-24, 2014
• For information on discounted hotel rates and other lodging options, click here.
• Information on confirmed dates, registration, and lodging will be officially released between January – February 2014. Visit this website often for updates.
• If you are attending from outside of Switzerland, note that you will need to request a Visa to attend.
66th Annual WHA
The Sixty-sixth session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) took place in Geneva during May 20–28, 2013. At this session, the WHA discussed various public health matters including non-communicable diseases (NCDs), post-2015 health agenda, public health preparedness, surveillance, and response, communicable diseases, health systems, and program and financing general business of WHO.
• A Changing Landscape in Global Health: Charting a Course for the Global Health Community in the Post-2015 Era
GHC/GHD/MSH Co-sponsored Session and Reception
The field of global health is changing, with new emphasis on the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases, universal health coverage as a means to unify health systems and reaching the health-related MDGs. The 66th World Health Assembly will consider these critical topics at its upcoming meeting.
Join us for a panel discussion about how the global health community has been responding to these changes. Speakers from ministries of health, donor governments and civil society will review strategies for building partnerships to reach those in greatest need and discuss how to continue the conversation at the national level once delegates have returned home.
A reception will follow the discussion.
Time: 5PM -7PM (17:00-19:00)
Location: Intercontinental Hotel, Geneva, Ball Room B & C
65th Annual WHA
The Sixty-fifth session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) took place in Geneva during May 21–26, 2012.
At this session, the WHA discussed a number of public health issues such as universal health coverage, non-communicable diseases, mental disorders, nutrition, Millennium Development Goals, adolescent pregnancy, polio eradication, financing of research and development, International Health Regulations, and the WHO reform process. It adopted a number of resolutions on these issues as well as progressed with The Safeguarding Health and Conflict Coalition and the WHA.
The Health Assembly also appointed Dr. Margaret Chan for a second five-year term as Director-General of WHO.
64th Annual WHA
The Sixty-fourth session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) took place in Geneva from May 16-21, 2011.
There, officials from 193 Member States began their annual review of the activities of WHO and set new priorities for the future. The WHA discussed specific health topics like child health, chronic diseases, malaria and maternal health, as well as the program budget, administration and management matters of WHO.
• Innovative Research for Better Health
GHC/Gates Co-sponsored Session
The purpose of this event is to announce the 2011 Gates Award for Global Health. Following the announcement of the award winner there will be a panel discussion on research and innovation and its contributions to combating infectious diseases in developing countries.
Time: 6PM -8PM (18:00-20:00)
Location: Intercontinental Hotel, Geneva