WHO resumes World Health Assembly — November 9 to 14th 2020

The 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA) resumes its work from November 9 to 14, 2020. It held a two-day de minimis segment last May to focus on the international management of the COVID19 pandemic.

The health situation once again obliges Member States to meet virtually. This second segment will address the crucial issues of reform and preparedness for health emergencies, including the presentation of the interim report of the Independent Group on Pandemic Preparedness and Response (GIPR) responsible for assessing the international response to the pandemic, but also to continue to work on the other pillars of WHO’s 13th General Program of Work.

What is the World Health Assembly?

The World Health Assembly (WHA) is the supreme decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO).

The main functions of WHA consist on the one hand to determine the policy and associated means of the WHO, and on the other hand to review the activities of the World Health Organization. For example, WHA appoints the Director General, controls the financial policy of the Organization, examines and approves the budget proposal, and defines the major thematic global strategies (e.g. immunization, health human resources, communicable diseases, mental health , etc.).

This exercise, which brings together all WHO Member States, is particularly important given the central role that the organization plays in global health, especially in the context of the global response to the pandemic.

To know more on the World Health Assembly

Distribution de masques sur un marché à Kinshasa

The 73rd World Health Assembly challenged by a protracted pandemic

For the second time this year, the World Health Assembly will be held virtually. While the agenda for WHA73 last May focused only on COVID-19, this segment will also address issues related to the continuity of the work of WHO. Excluding COVID-19, global health challenges such as primary health care, neglected tropical diseases, global vaccination plans, and healthy aging will be discussed, as well as the fight against scourges such as tuberculosis, cholera, polio, cervical cancer or even global strategies for health innovation and digital health.

More information on WHA73 on WHO website

More than 47 million COVID-19 cases have now been reported to WHO, and more than 1.2 million people have lost their lives. WHO has three messages :
- First, we can beat COVID-19 with science, solutions and solidarity. For the first time, the world has rallied behind a plan to accelerate the development of the vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics we need, and to ensure they are available to all countries on the basis of equity. The Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator is delivering real results.
- Second, we must not backslide on our critical health goals.The COVID-19 pandemic is a sobering reminder that health is the foundation of social, economic and political stability.
- Third, we must prepare for the next pandemic now. We’ve seen this past year that countries with robust health emergency preparedness infrastructure have been able to act quickly to contain and control the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Des travailleurs de santé s'équipent pour venir en aide à des patients atteints par la pandémie de COVID-19.

WHO reform and Emergency preparedness will be discussed

France is particularly involved in two key topics: strengthening the WHO and a resolution on health emergency preparedness initiated by France, Finland and the Netherlands and co-sponsored by more than 40 countries.

Last updated on: 9 November 2020