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:

  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.

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.

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

GHC AT WHA

Read more below on how to apply for the GHC delegation as well as additional ways to engage around WHA.

Join Our Delegation

Due to its status as a nongovernmental organization in official relations with WHO, GHC can offer its members access to WHA so they can participate in key discussions with global health policymakers and provide valuable input into proposed resolutions. GHC delegates represent our coaltion at multiple meetings, briefings, plenaries, and side events throughout the week. By joining together at WHA, GHC members can engage more effectively as global health advocates.

Non-corporate GHC organizational members in good standing (i.e., paid dues for 2019) and Super Global Health Advocates (individual GHC supporters who contribute $500 or more) are eligible to apply for GHC's accredited  WHA delegation. Eligible organizations can send up to two representatives on the delegation and potentially obtain two additional spots for health workers or field staff working in low- or middle-income countries. Super Global Health Advocates can apply for one spot on the delegation.

Please note that registration will open April 8, 2019 and ends April 30, 2019, or until all spots are filled. 

DIVERSITY IN DELEGATION

In 2018, GHC sent a delegation of
members to attend the 71st World Health Assembly (WHA)  in Geneva, Switzerland.
%
of our delegates represented low- and middle-income countries.
%
of our delegates were female leaders from global health field.
statements were read on the floor of WHA by our delegates, including comments on the 13th General Programme of Work, polio, mental health, and more.

Resources for GHC Delegates & Advocates

GHC provides members with several resources to prepare for the upcoming WHA, including the following:  

  • Credentials to attend the WHA formal proceedings within the grounds of the Palais des Nations
  • A WHA webinar seriesto better understand and engage in WHA discussions and debates
  • ASpecial WHA Side Events Calendar to help organize your schedule at WHA
  • A daily email alert  and in-person huddles with updates on WHA proceedings and side events
  • A process to propose statements to be considered by GHC for submission to WHA
  • Online platforms (i.e., GHC's blog and social media channels) to amplify your voice at WHA
  • Briefings in Geneva with high-level stakeholders such as U.S. government representatives (details to be announced soon)

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.

WHA WEBINAR SERIES

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

GHC's Master Calendar of WHA Side Events allows individuals following WHA to organize their schedules in advance. If you have an event to add to the calendar, please share your event with us.

STATEMENTS TO WHA

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

BECOME A GHC MEMBER TODAY!