The 68th World Health Assembly

23rd June 2015
The 68th session of the annual World Health Assembly (WHA) was opened in Geneva yesterday, May 18th, and will be taking place until May 26th, 2015. The Health Assembly is the supreme decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO), and it is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States. Its main functions are to determine the policies of the Organization, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed programme budget.

World Health Assembly 68 2015

© 2015 WHO/Violaine Martin

This year, with the Ebola outbreak still so fresh in everyone’s minds, a big focus of the Assembly will be on plans to create a new WHO programme for health emergencies, uniting outbreak and emergency resources across the 3 levels of the WHO.

Other major areas of discussion include climate change and health, the post-2015 development agenda, building resilient health systems and addressing the issue of antimicrobial resistance, with delegates urged to adopt the draft global action plan on antimicrobial resistance at the Assembly.

Resolutions and decision points will be made on issues such as epilepsy, the International Health Regulations, malaria, nutrition, polio, public health, innovation, and intellectual property, substandard/spurious/falsely-labelled/falsified/counterfeit medical products, surgical care and anaesthesia. And Delegates will review progress reports on a wide range of issues such as adolescent health, immunization, noncommunicable diseases, women and health, and WHO’s response in severe, large-scale emergencies.

To follow what is happening at the WHA, you can watch the live webcast of the event, or follow the hashtag #WHA68 on Twitter. You can also have a look at the provisional agenda for information on the breadth of topics discussed at the Assembly and to access the supporting documentation.

Key readings from Eldis: