World Health Assembly — 18-19 May 2020

The 73rd World Health Assembly in times of pandemic

This year, for the first time since the creation of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948, the World Health Assembly (WHA) will be virtual, due to the current Covid-19 pandemic. It will take place exclusively in plenary; even though usually the WHA is regularly divided into two committees, in charge of debating technical and health matters (Committee A), and financial and management issues (Committee B). The WHA agenda has been reduced to fit into two days, but will consider suspending and reconvening later in the year.

The 73rd WHA’s agenda will be entirely dedicated to the current Covid-19 pandemic, in addition to some administrative decisions necessary to the continuity of WHO’s work.

What is the World Health Assembly?

The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of the World Health Organization. It is held annually, in May, in Geneva, Switzerland. The WHA is attended by delegations from all 194 WHO Member States.

It is at the World Health Assembly that Member States review WHO’s work, set its goals, assign new tasks, appoint its Director-General (every 5 years), and examine its financial and budget policies.

Last updated on: 18 May 2020