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Newsletter 11/2021: #WHS2021 Wrap-Up

Dear friends,

At the World Health Summit 2021, global health experts from around the world gathered in Berlin and online: 6,000 participants and 377 speakers from 120 countries discussed the most pressing global health issues of our times in 67 sessions. There have never before been so many speakers and so many sessions. With Dr. Tedros, the Director-General of the WHO, and Jens Spahn, the German Minister of Health, speaking at the opening, and video participation by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen and UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the opening evidenced the relevance of global health and the role of the World Health Summit.   

The main theme, of course, was COVID-19, which affects all angles of life and was addressed from all possible perspectives. Many key findings and outcomes were presented and discussed but the main result, the central demand, is clear and obvious:

The number one priority remains to vaccinate the world.

The M8 Alliance, our academic backbone, took it one step further:

"We need a new multilateralism and a new global social contract." This is the essence of the M8 Alliance Declaration, the final statement of the World Health Summit and translates to vaccine equity, strengthening the global health architecture, and supporting all countries to invest in primary health care.

The mission and vision of the World Health Summit may never have been more relevant: To improve health worldwide via collaboration and open dialogue by bringing together stakeholders from all different sectors: science, politics, industry and civil society. We believe that this is essential to tackle the multiple challenges of global health. The tremendous interest in the discussions seems to prove us right: Session recordings available on our YouTube channel have been watched by more than 78,000 people so far. And via the WHO’s Twitter channel, all five sessions with Dr. Tedros were streamed live to more than 220,000 viewers worldwide. The enormous interest was also reflected in the numerous media reports around the world from The Washington Post, to all major German newspapers, to prime time news, and to the Fiji Times.

After the game is before the game as we all know, preparations are on the way for next year’s World Health Summit – a very special one: The World Health Summit 2022 will be co-hosted by WHO: "…to engage an even broader group of actors, committed to multilateral action for global health", as Dr. Tedros put it.

And finally yet importantly, let me cordially welcome our new World Health Summit 2022 International Presidents: Eugenio Gaudio and Luciano Saso from Sapienza University of Rome, Italy. They will host the Regional Meeting 2022 in Rome next June. My sincere thank-you goes to 2021 International President Charles Ibingira from Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Uganda for all his contributions. Charles and his team hosted a wonderful, utterly important and successful Regional Meeting 2021 in Kampala.

My dear friends, let's work together and try to make a real difference for global health.

Axel R. Pries
World Health Summit


#WHS2021 in Numbers

6,000 participants in Berlin and online
- 1,100 participants on-site
- 377 speakers
- 120 countries
- 67 sessions
- countless conversations
- 70 hours broadcasting time
- 78,000 views of all session recordings on YouTube (as of Nov. 25)
- 220,000 views additionally of all sessions streamed by WHO (as of Nov. 25)
- 3,000 live participants at the opening ceremony
- 1,000 reports in international media
- 1,900 mentions of @WorldHealthSmt on Twitter in October 
- 800 new followers of @WorldHealthSmt on Twitter in October
- 2,000 photos taken
- 1,200 program books printed
53% male / 47% female speakers
- 1 final declaration

"We need a new multilateralism and a new social contract": M8 Alliance Declaration 2021

Learnings from COVID-19, clear statements on pandemic preparedness and response, vaccine equity and new international strategies are the core themes of this year's World Health Summit final declaration, the M8 Alliance Declaration.

The M8 Alliance, the academic backbone of the World Health Summit, identified the need for "a new multilateralism and a new social contract."

"Political leaders must confront the underlying geopolitical tensions, social vulnerabilities and structural inequalities in their societies and between countries - it is the most vulnerable that are paying the price with their health and lives in this pandemic. The World Health Summit stresses the fact that health is a human right and health security will only be achieved together with social and human security. Mechanisms driving and perpetuating inequity must be addressed."

Read the full M8 Alliance Declaration 2021

In the Media

The World Health Summit 2021 was featured in hundreds of media outlets around the world. See TV reports, listen to radio features, and read articles here

Read more on media attention, media quotes, press releases, social media and website reach, ads, and our media partners in this year's media report

ARD Tagesschau
(prime time edition)

"The world's top health professionals come together (...)"

Al Jazeera

"Now in Berlin many of the world’s top scientists, medics, and ministers are working through what they see as the next big challenges."

Radio France Internationale

"This 2021 edition (…) will bring together the elite of the scientific, political, civil society and business world from 100 countries."

Social Media

700,000 impressions, 56,000 profile visits, and more than 4,000 likes and mentions - these are the Twitter data for @WorldHealthSmt in October, the month of #WHS2021. The whole program, all sessions, the main topics, and various speakers have been featured on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram e.g. with campaigns like "Meet #WHS2021 Speakers" or "#WHS2021 Takeaway".


Opening Speeches

Some of the many great speeches from the World Health Summit 2021 opening ceremony are available on our website. Additionally, you can watch the entire opening session as a recording.

Session Recordings

The recordings of all 67 #WHS2021 sessions are available on our YouTube channel
Additionally, all sessions with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus were livestreamed on WHO's Twitter channel, see more


For a look behind the scenes and #WHS2021 impressions, visit our gallery

Graphic Recordings

Check out the graphic recordings highlighting the key messages from various #WHS2021 sessions

Speaker Quotes

See various speaker quotes on our website and as "#WHS2021 Takeaway" on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram

WHS Opening Ceremony von der Leyen

"Cross-border health threats need cross-border responses."

Ursula von der Leyen
President, European Commission

"Let us join together at the World Health Summit to embark into a future in which we are all sufficiently prepared and coordinated in order to respond to outbreaks as a united global community.“

Jens Spahn
Minister of Health, Germany

"At this year’s World Health Summit, let’s move from alarm to action. And let’s deliver the stronger health systems that every person deserves."

António Guterres
Secretary General, United Nations 


The World Health Summit brings together leaders from science, politics, the private sector, and civil society to set the agenda for a healthier future. Thank you to all World Health Summit 2021 partners for their contributions!


The Baton goes from Uganda to Italy

Change of the World Health Summit Internatonal Presidency: On stage at the World Health Summit, the baton was passed on from Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Uganda to Sapienza University of Rome, Italy, hosts of the Regional Meeting 2022.

Meet the Next Regional Meeting Hosts

Sapienza University of Rome, the Italian member of the M8 Alliance, will be hosting the next Regional Meeting 2022, June 15-17. Established in 1303 by Pope Boniface VIII, Sapienza is one of the oldest universities in the world and with about 115,000 students, it is also one of the largest in Europe.

The World Health Summit International Presidency 2022 will be shared between Eugenio Gaudio and Luciano Saso:

Eugenio Gaudio is a Professor of Human Anatomy and served as the rector of Sapienza until 2020. He is the author of over 500 scientific publications and holds two international patents. He is Commendatore dell’Ordine of the Italian Republic, honorary member of the Academy of Sciences of Bologna, member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts and counselor for the Ministry of University and Research for health education.

Luciano Saso is a Professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Medicine at Sapienza. He coordinated several research projects in the field of pharmacology and has been referee for many national and international funding agencies and international scientific journals in the last 25 years. He is vice-rector for the European University Networks, member of the Council for Doctoral Education at Sapienza as well as president of the Steering Committee of the UNICA network of the Universities from the Capitals of Europe.

M8 Alliance Webinar Series on Migrant and Refugee Health

Register for the webinar on "How climate change affects the health of migrants and refugees" on November 30, 15:00-17:00 CET

Get all information on registration, speakers and program here

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


Interested in global health communications? With expertise in press & public relations and online & offline communications? Good! 
Up for working with one of the most important international strategic global health forums and as part of a small, dedicated team in Berlin? Even better!
The World Health Summit is hiring a communications manager.
Read more here and get in touch with us, we look very much forward to hearing from you.


New Cooperation in Global Health

At the World Health Summit, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Global Health Projects.

New Global Preparedness Monitoring Board Report

At the World Health Summit, the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board launched their report From Worlds Apart to a World Prepared. It shows how the failures of COVID-19 were rooted in inequality and inaction and what needs to be done in the future. 

New Report by The Lancet and Financial Times Commission

At the World Health Summit, the Governing Health Futures 2030 Report by The Lancet and Financial Times Commission was launched. It looks at the intersection of youth, digital technologies and UHC.

New Honorary Professor at Charité

In the framework of the World Health Summit, World Health Summit Council Chair Ilona Kickbusch was honored for her distinguished and impactful career in global health and was awarded an honorary professorship at Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin.


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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Regional Meeting 2022

Rome, Italy & Digital

June 15-17, 2022

World Health Summit 2022

Berlin, Germany & Digital

October 16-18, 2022

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