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Newsletter 05/2024: WHS at WHA 77

Dear friends,

We have witnessed a pivotal month in global health: The 77th World Health Assembly (WHA) gathered health leaders from all regions and countries of the world to address pressing health challenges under the theme "Health for All, All for Health". This approach must be the basis for the development of a pandemic accord and amendments to the International Health Regulations, essential for enhancing our preparedness and response to future pandemics.

During the WHA, the World Health Summit team was actively engaged in various meetings, side events and discussions with regional and global health leaders. We had the opportunity to exchange with several WHO regional directors on their regional health priorities and had the great pleasure of meeting with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. These interactions are invaluable in fostering international cooperation and advancing our shared goals.

"Health for All, All for Health" is also central to the first WHO Investment Round, a historical push to mobilize resources for WHO’s core work for the next 4 years. In these challenging times we all must work to keep global health on the agenda and strengthen multilateral cooperation. This is underlined by the clear commitment by the German federal government to co-host the first WHO Investment Round and to take this forward at the World Health Summit in October. I invite you all to join us at WHS 2024 in Berlin and to support this unique moment for global health.

Stay safe, stay healthy!

Axel R. Pries
World Health Summit

News from the 77th World Health Assembly

The World Health Summit team attended the 77th World Health Assembly in Geneva, the annual member state gathering of the World Health Organization. From joining the "Walk the Talk" event in support of Health for All to important discussions with the Director-General Dr. Tedros and the WHO regional directors, the World Health Summit team was able to strengthen partnerships, discuss collaborative projects and engage with new partners. A major announcement was made by the German government to co-host the WHO Investment Round and their intention to leverage the upcoming World Health Summit in Berlin for this important cause. We look forward to supporting this historic mission at the World Health Summit 2024 in Berlin!


Opinion piece by WHS Council Co-Chair Ilona Kickbusch 
Founding Director, Global Health Center, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies


Foto: Ilona Kickbusch

Pandemic Governance in Action

The World Health Assembly is in full swing as I write this. Major decisions on the Pandemic Treaty and the International Health Regulations are still outstanding. It seems that ending the present round of the intergovernmental negotiating body (INB) has now led to constructive negotiations on the process of going forward together. There has been too much noise about a “failure” of the WHO, as an accord will not be signed at this WHA. I argue that there are lots of similarities with the declaration of “failure” after the Copenhagen climate negations at COP 15 in 2009 – yet this COP set a path that then led to the Paris agreements at COP 21 in 2015. This is what we also see in Geneva – countries do not want to drop the accord; they want more time to negotiate it. And they need a break to reflect.

The last two years have set the key parameters on equity and introduced a central principle that was not part of pandemic discussions before COVID-19. The Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB) has underlined this with a new statement. Constructive discussions on access and benefit sharing have begun and at country and regional level the work on productions sites and technology sharing is moving forward. Pandemics challenge us, they change our world and the way we work, each pandemic is different, and it will not be useful to have an agreement that focuses only on solving the last pandemic. I hope negotiators will learn from climate negations to create a COP process that allows countries to regularly revisit what is needed to resolve the major challenges that pandemics bring. COVID-19 was not the last pandemic. To be better prepared we need to bridge divides – geopolitical and between stakeholders.


37 million – the alarming number of children aged 13-15 worldwide who are using tobacco. Highlighted in a recent WHO report ahead of World No Tobacco Day on May 31, this figure underscores the urgent need to protect youth from targeted marketing tactics by the tobacco and nicotine industry. With young people using e-cigarettes at higher rates than adults in many countries, it's crucial to implement stronger measures to safeguard their health and prevent a new wave of addiction.

Source: WHO News


M8 Alliance Expert Meeting: Oral Health and General Health

Join the first Expert Meeting on oral health organized by M8 Alliance member Sapienza University of Rome. Led by Professors Domenico Alvaro and Livia Ottolenghi, the event pioneers the inclusion of oral health in global health initiatives in accordance with the WHO Global Action Plan on Oral Health. Renowned speakers, including experts from NYU, Harvard, and Tehran University, University of Bern, and University of Gothenburg, will delve into crucial topics like epidemiology, public health, oral and gut microbiome, saliva as a marker of non-communicable diseases, biomarkers and future developments. While in-person registrations have now closed, you are welcome to register for online-participation using the link below.

Program and speakers
Register for online participation



Check out the latest info, recent projects, and upcoming events on the Charité Center for Global Health website.


World Health Summit 2024

Berlin, Germany & Digital 

October 13-15

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