WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY (WHA)
May 22 - 28, 2022
150th Session of the Executive Board
WHA Special Session
November 29 - December 1, 2021
Each year, senior health officials from Member States of the World Health Organization (WHO) travel 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:
- 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.
- 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.
Besides Member States, other stakeholders, such as non-state actors in official relations with WHO, are allowed to follow the WHA proceedings and participate in technical briefings and official side events.