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Newsletter 09/2021: #WHS2021, German Elections, UNGA 76

Dear friends,

We are quickly approaching the World Health Summit 2021, held in Berlin and digitally on October 24-26. Preparations are in full swing and we are happy to be adding more and more renowned experts to the list of speakers.

We are especially happy to announce that the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen has confirmed her attendance, as well as the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. They will be joined by Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who will deliver a video message, and other inspiring speakers at the opening ceremony on Sunday, October 24. Like all other sessions, you can join the opening ceremony online.

As you all know, the World Health Summit, as one of the world’s leading strategic forums for global health, brings together leaders from politics, science, medicine, the private sector, and civil society to drive forward the global agenda for a healthier future

This year you can expect top contributions to central topics like Pandemic Preparedness: Lessons from COVID-19, The Role of the European Union in Global Health, Digital and AI Technologies for Health, and Vaccine Equity.

With respect to international efforts towards increasing vaccine equity, the World Health Summit very much welcomes the recent pledge of the G20 Health Ministers in Rome. 

We look very much forward to fruitful discussions on these important issues. All of you who will not be able to participate on-site are invited to join online: The links are available in the online program – free and without prior registration.

Stay up-to-date and get the latest info on #WHS2021 on our homepage or on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, and Instagram.

Let us work together and try to make a real difference for global health – and see you all at the World Health Summit 2021!

With kind regards,

Axel R. Pries
World Health Summit

Charles Ibingira
International President 2021


#WHS 2021 Speakers

See more speakers

#WHS2021 Program and Central Topics

This year, COVID-19 and related topics remain a central issue of the far more than fifty keynote sessions, panel discussions, and workshops.

The central topics 2021 are:

- Vaccine Equity: A Call to Action
- The Role of the European Union in Global Health
- WHO Council on the Economics of Health for All
- The Intersection of COVID-19 and Mental Health
- Unlocking Digital and AI Technologies for Health
- Pandemic Preparedness: Lessons from COVID-19

The online program provides always up-to-date und comprehensive information on each individual session: Hosts, chairs, speakers, detailed topic descriptions, and links for digital participation.

How to Participate in #WHS2021

Digital participation is free and possible without prior registration. 
All keynote sessions, panel discussions, and workshops will be available online with Q&A function to join the discussion. The individual Zoom links can be accessed directly in the respective session in the online program

On-site participation is possible by invitation only.
Due to COVID-19, the number of participants at the venue (Kosmos, Karl-Marx-Allee 131a, 10243 Berlin) is limited and hygiene and distancing rules apply. Access to the venue can only be granted with proof of an EU-approved vaccination, recovery or a negative test not older than 24h. Register here

Policy Track by the German Ministry of Health

This year the German Ministry of Health organizes a special session series at the World Health Summit. The ten sessions include topics like: The One Health approach to Global Health, Reforms in the Global Health Architecture, New Forms of Governance in Global Health, and Forgotten epidemics: AIDS & Mental Health in Light of COVID-19. By providing a forum to facilitate discussions around such topics, the German Ministry of Health, through the Policy Track, aims to bring the most relevant topics of global health to Germany to further facilitate the discussion with leading experts and incorporate the gained knowledge in ongoing and upcoming policy processes. 

See all Policy Track sessions here

Entrepreneurs in Global Health at #WHS2021

Entrepreneurs in Global Health, a cooperation between the World Health Summit, Stiftung Charité and the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH), brings startups to the global health stage at the World Health Summit. This year, six startups will present their health innovations in Berlin on Monday, October 25, 2021 at 1PM CET.

Read more here

#WHS2021 Press & Media

The World Health Summit is fully open to the press and journalists can request accreditation for on-site participation until Oct. 20. More info and accreditation form here

Comprehensive info on the World Health Summit 2021 with press information documents on #WHS2021 and the M8 Alliance in English and German, as well as photos, bios, and logos for download can be found in our Press Kit 

All press releases on #WHS2021 and related topics in English and German can be found here

#WHS2021 Special Publication in DIE ZEIT

"You can only survive with other people, not against them" Read the interview with World Health Summit President Axel R. Pries on climate change and health, vaccine equity, and the importance of international, intersectoral collaboration as part of a special publication in DIE ZEIT print edition here or online (German)


Get all Information on #WHS2021 on our Homepage

German Federal Election: End of an Era

The federal election in Germany on Sunday, September 26 marks the end of an era as Chancellor Angela Merkel will leave office after 16 years. Health has been a topic of great importance during Merkel's tenure, in which Germany has become a leading advocate for global health. Her merit was most recently honored during the inauguration of the WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence on Sept. 1 in Berlin: Angela Merkel received the WHO Global Leadership Award from WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the health of the world’s people. The Chancellor has always played an important role for the World Health Summit as one of its longstanding patrons from day one on, thereby contributing to the success of this unique forum for global health. 

UNGA 2021: COVID-19 in the Center

Climate Change - one of the many pressing matters at the UN General Assembly 2021 with more than 100 presidents, prime ministers and others giving in-person speeches at the two-week hybrid event. But no issue is more urgent, the UN leadership said, than stemming the COVID-19 pandemic still raging out of control in so many places. To understand what went right and wrong in this pandemic, and to do better, not only in the future but in real time, was also the core of a virtual Global COVID-19 Summit organized by the US government on Sept. 22., one day after US President Joe Biden's address to UNGA.

More on UNGA, the biggest gathering of world leaders here
More on the General Debate (Sept. 21-25 & 27) here 


The Power of… - A New Podcast and Think Piece Series

The United Nations University International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH), member of the M8 Alliance, launched a new podcast and think piece series: „The power of…“, centering around gender equality in global health. The first edition on "The Disconnect Between Gender-Transformative Language and Action in Global Health“ is now online.

Listen and read here

M8 Alliance Webinar Series on Migrant and Refugee Health

Save the Date: The next M8 Alliance Webinar on Migrant and Refugee Health will take place on November 30

Migrant and Refugee Health has been a focus topic of the M8 Alliance since 2016 with regular expert meetings and sessions at the World Health Summit.

Get all information on the webinar series, expert meetings, and the focus topic here
Recordings of all webinars are available on the World Health Summit YouTube channel


Declaration of the G20 Health Ministers 

The Meeting of the G20 Health Ministers in Rome on September 5-6 ended with a declaration promoting strong multilateral cooperation: "...including towards ending the COVID-19 pandemic and supporting recovery, and to continue contributing with our joint efforts to better prevent, detect and respond to global health risks and emergencies." The World Health Summit supports the goals of the declaration: "We very much welcome the bold decision of the G20 Health Ministers which leads us closer to the much needed global vaccine equity", says World Health Summit President Axel R. Pries

Read the full Declaration of the G20 Health Ministers here

WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence

The new WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence, based in Berlin, was inaugurated by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on September 1. As part of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, the WHO Hub will support the work of public health experts and policy-makers globally with the tools needed to forecast, detect and assess epidemic and pandemic risks to prevent and respond to future public health emergencies. Chikwe Ihekweazu, to date Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, has been appointed to lead the WHO Hub as its director.

Read more here

New Interview Series on Pandemics by WWF

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the challenges and opportunities for nature conservation, food security, energy supply, and health care are more apparent than ever. In the new interview series #Connect2Earth Global Health Talks, our longstanding partner WWF highlights these connections: Scientists and experts address the causes of pandemics like COVID-19 and reveal how we can prevent future ones from occurring. 
Watch the Global Health Talks here


The World Health Summit would like to thank its media partners, including:

Der Tagesspiegel is Berlin’s number-one journalistic voice. Its award-winning journalists identify the causes of things and emphasize the paper’s independent, liberal position. 364,000 noticeably young and well-educated readers appreciate this professional ethic day after day. Daily exclusive background information for decision-makers from the health sector can be found in Tagesspiegel Background Gesundheit & E-Health. 
Click here for a 4-week free trial subscription - an offer for World Health Summit Newsletter readers (in German).

Deutsche Welle is Germany’s international broadcaster and provides objective journalism for a global audience, reflecting different regional perspectives. DW actively supports those who stand up for democracy, human rights and civil society. With its global coverage of the pandemic DW is keeping users around the world informed about all developments concerning COVID-19.

ZEIT Publishing Group is one of Europe's most renowned media houses with a broad digital offer and education program. The centerpiece is DIE ZEIT: With a circulation of around 550,000 copies sold and more than two million readers, the weekly newspaper is Germany's leading quality newspaper. It is a medium of orientation and a platform for democratic discourse in our society.

Economist Impact combines the rigour of a think-tank with the creativity of a media brand to engage a globally influential audience. Economist Impact aims to open debate, broaden perspectives, and catalyse progress with evidence-based insights.


Join the World Health Summit Community and get in touch with fellow members: global health enthusiasts from all over the world. You also get access to a selection of past World Health Summit speaker presentations and benefit from an expedited process for your next World Health Summit registration.

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World Health Summit 2021

October 24-26, 2021

Kosmos, Karl-Marx-Allee 131a, 10243 Berlin & Digital

World Health Summit 2021

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WHS Foundation GmbH
Charitéplatz 1
10117 Berlin, Germany