Final WHA Policy Scrum and New Delegates Webinar

Global Health Council (GHC) hosted its Final WHA Policy Scrum and New Delegates Webinar on May 9, 2017. The webinar provided an overview of GHC ‘s mission and main purpose of engagement at the Seventieth World Health Assembly, and offered a quick look at our dynamic delegation.

This year, GHC is delighted to have a total of 69 WHA Delegates and several more Advocates representing various factions of civil society at WHA70. We look forward to connecting with you all and hope you will have a meaningful experience as members of our delegation.

Special thanks to our guest speaker and GHC WHA delegate, Dr. Inon Schenker, who shared some special tips and useful insights on maximizing your WHA experience.

Important Links:

Final WHA Policy Scrum Recording:

Final WHA Policy Scrum Slides:

Main highlights from the webinar:

  1. Preparations for WHA70

GHC hosted three WHA Policy Scrums leading up to WHA70. An archive of notes and recordings from these sessions is on our WHA Page. Additional resources on logistics are also available on our web page and in the links listed below.

  1. WHO Director-General Election

GHC has been following the election of the next WHO Director-General very closely. This spring, we had the honor of holding small group discussions with the three final candidates for the WHO Director-General position. We used this opportunity to ask critical questions on each candidate’s plans to engage with civil society upon his or her election.

GHC will be sharing key takeaways from these discussions in the coming weeks and will host a WHA side-event, Priorities for the Next WHO Director-General, on May 23. Please subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date on this topic.

  1. U.S. Government Priorities at WHA70

GHC has been engaging with representatives from the U.S. government to highlight key areas and concerns from civil society, in an effort to inform the government’s priorities at WHA70. During the U.S. government WHA stakeholder listening session on May 5, GHC offered a statement on the framework of non-state actors.  

The U.S. government will host a number of briefings on key agenda items, including: neglected tropical diseases, malaria, and global polio eradication. View our complete list of U.S. Government Delegation Briefings on our Special Events Calendar.

  1. Communications Plan

GHC will share a Social Media Guide and Daily Social Media Alerts with delegates during WHA. We invite you to follows us on Twitter and Facebook, and support our #WHA70 Campaign.

We are also putting together a WHA Blog Series and Storify. Please email any photos, captions, quotes, bullet points, or stories from your side-events to

  1. Talking Points for GHC Delegates

Although GHC’s WHA delegates and advocates represent different organizations and various issue areas, we are all part of one contingent. Please review GHC’s New Strategic Road Map 2020 along with our 100 Days Update to help you prepare talking points on your involvement with GHC and how your organization fits into GHC’s mission and activities.

  1. WHA Statements

The deadline for submission of statements is May 18. We strongly encourage organizations to collaborate on statements if they intend to address similar agenda items. Review our statement guidelines.

  1. 141st Session of the WHO Executive Board

Please notify us by May 17 if you would like to attend the 141st Session of the WHO Executive Board that will take place between June 1 – 2, following the conclusion of WHA70.

  1. Quick Tips for New Delegates

View WHO’s Guide For Delegates at WHA, Things to Know On the Go in Geneva, and a Map of the Palais de Nations.

  1. The Introduction to the World Health Assembly Session hosted by The Graduate Institute and United Nations Foundation is a very useful brief, especially for first time delegates.
  2. Arrive early for any sessions at the Palais des Nations. The wait-times to get through security checks are quite long. Seating is also limited for popular sessions.
  3. Electronics are allowed into the Assembly Hall and there is free WiFi to keep you occupied. Gate A15 is the best entrance to the assembly hall.
  4. The WHO Director-General’s opening address is the first major highlight of WHA. It begins at 2:30 PM on May 22. Try to arrive by 1:15 PM to secure seating.
  5. Printed copies of WHA documents are available at the reception in six languages. PDF versions are available online. Make time to read the key documents of the sessions you are attending as the discussions will be based on these documents.
  6. Several of the sessions will be live streamed; links will be made available on the WHA document page.
  7. Make use of the 3rd floor of the Palais de Nations to move between sessions; it connects all the different buildings.
  8. The 3rd floor corridors will also feature a variety of exciting exhibitions demonstrating achievements by WHO over the last several decades.
  9. Carry Swiss currency with you; it is more convenient than using credit cards.
  10. Review the WHA Journal periodically; it is frequently updated.
  11. Wear comfortable shoes and carry an umbrella.