GHC at the Seventy-first World Health Assembly

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.

Each year, senior health officials from Member States come to Geneva to participate in the World Health Assembly (WHA). It is at WHA that WHO’s work is reviewed, new goals are set, and new tasks assigned. Some of the main functions of the WHA are to determine the policies of WHO, appoint the Director-General, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed program budget.

At WHA, two main types of meetings are held, each with a different purpose:

1.) Committees meet to debate technical and health matters (Committee A), and financial and management issues (Committee B), and approve the texts of resolutions, which are then submitted to the plenary meeting.

2.) Plenary is the meeting of all delegates to the WHA. The WHA meets in plenary several times in order to listen to reports and adopt the resolutions transmitted by the committees. The Director-General and Member States also address the delegates at the plenary.

In addition, technical briefings are organized separately on specific public health topics to present new developments in the area, provide a forum for debate and to allow for information sharing.

An agenda with the list of topics for discussion will be released prior to the Assembly. The agenda is not timed, and while the Chair generally proceeds through the list of topics in order, there may be changes to the agenda if so decided by the Chair. Each topic will be discussed for the amount of time it takes to get through it, which means that timing is very approximate during the proceedings.

WHA allows GHC members to participate in discussions with international global health policymakers and provide valuable input into proposed resolutions. WHA is a unique opportunity for GHC to network with its international partners and help prioritize GHC’s own agenda. By joining together at WHA, GHC’s members can engage more effectively as a team and represent GHC at multiple meetings, briefings, plenaries, and side events. Moreover, due to its official status with WHO GHC can submit statements to be recorded into the official record at WHA.

GHC members in good standing can apply to be part of GHC’s accredited  WHA delegation through the online GHC member portal. For those members who are not able to attend WHA or are attending through another delegation, you can still sign-up for GHC’s daily briefings and partake in other GHC activities throughout the week.

Join Our Delegation

Join Our Delegation

You must be a current GHC member to register for our delegation. Please note that registration ends April 30 or until all spots are filled. Click on the link below for registration details.

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Reserve Hotel Rooms

Reserve Hotel Rooms

GHC has reserved two hotel room blocks for its members traveling to Geneva. Please click on the link below for more details.

View Room Blocks
Submit Statements

Submit Statements

Non-State Actors (NSA) in official relations with WHO are allowed to submit statements to the WHA to be read from the floor and entered into the official record. GHC will accept draft statements from its members who are part of GHC’s official WHA delegation.

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View Our Special WHA Side Events Calendar

View Our Special WHA Side Events Calendar

GHC's Master Calendar of WHA Side Events allows individuals following WHA to organize their schedules in advance. Please also share your event with us (events@globalhealth.org).

View Calendar
Participate in Our WHA Policy Scrum Webinar Series

Participate in Our WHA Policy Scrum Webinar Series

Join fellow global health advocates to share insights and intelligence with each other, prepare key messages and strategies, and ultimately mobilize to become more effective advocates at WHA and beyond.

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Access WHA Documentation

Access WHA Documentation

WHO gathers and posts documentation, such as the provisional agenda, daily journals, and resolutions, on a comprehensive webpage. Please reference this webpage frequently as the agenda will likely change, and documents will be added.

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Sign-up for GHC's WHA Daily Digest

Sign-up for GHC's WHA Daily Digest

If you are not seeking accreditation for GHC's WHA delegation, you can still participate with GHC at WHA - in-person or remotely - by receiving daily updates from the GHC team.

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Follow Us on Social Media

Follow Us on Social Media

Participate in WHA conversations online by following GHC on social media (#WHA71).

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