Newsletter No. 3

Berlin, July 12th, 2011


Conference Dates

World Health Summit | October 23rd-26th, 2011 | Berlin, Germany

Speaker Update

Speaker Update

New Keynote Speakers confirmed!

Mrs. Sheikh Hasina, the current Prime Minister of Bangladesh, was born on 28 September, 1947 and has been the President of the so-called Awami League, a major political party, since 1981. She is the eldest of five children of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding father (and first president) of Bangladesh. In 2008 Sheikh Hasina's party defeated the BNP-led Four-Party Alliance in the parliamentary elections, thus assuring her of the post of prime minister. Sheikh Hasina has once before held the office, from 1996 to 2001.


Mr. Dirk Niebel is a German politician and since 2009 Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development. He was born on 19 March, 1963 in Hamburg, Germany. After serving in the armed forces for eight years, he entered the Federal University of Applied Admin¬is¬trative Sciences where he gained a degree in public administration. Being a member of the German Parliament since 1998 he also was the secretary general of the FDP from 2005 to 2009.

Mr. Michel Sidibé is the Executive Director of UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. His appointment began 1 January 2009 with the rank of Under Secretary-General of the United Nations. He was born in 1952 in Mali and holds a Master’s degree in economics as well as two Post-Master’s Diplomas in Social Planning and Demography. For more than 20 years, he served in a variety of capacities within the United Nations including the UNAIDS in Geneva, UNICEF in New York, and countries in Africa.

Link to Speakers List

See the list of all confirmed speakers here.



Online Registration open!

The World Health Summit provides registration and grants as well assistance with your travel arrangements. Further information and online registration can be found <link _blank internal-link internal link in current>here.


Online Program

Preliminary Program available

You can find more information on the preliminary program in our Session Planner.



Climate Change and Health at the World Health Summit Co-hosted by the German Federal Foreign Office

“Climate protection is the common challenge for politics, economic development, science as well as society at large in the age of globalization. Climate change has a far reaching impact on the economic and social development of whole continents and the entire community of nations. Foreign-policy climate issues are at the core of our foreign policy, which aims at ensuring peace and security.”

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, 25th September 2010 in New York.


Session Highlights 2011

Symposium and Panel Discussion on Climate Change and Health

Panel Discussion on Monday, October 24th, 2011: “Ensuring Public Health in Times of Climate Change” hosted by by the German Federal Foreign Office and the German Academy of Science Leopoldina.

“Every century has its own public health challenges, climate change is our century’s challenge” Dr. Margaret Chan, Director General WHO

Germany and South Africa hosted a conference to prepare for the UN climate summit in Durban/South Africa at the end of this year. Ministers and high-rank oficials from 35 countries gathered during the last week-end in Berlin invited by the German Federal Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen and the South African Minister of International Relations Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. Chancellor Angela Merkel held the key note speech at the conference.

The 21st century will bring tremendous transformations of human living conditions. One of the most important changes that humankind will experience is climate change. According to the most recent projections the world risks to be several degrees Celsius warmer by the end of the century, implying considerable sea-level rise, increased occurrence of extreme events, and altered precipitation pattern.

While intensive research is undertaken to better understand and anticipate the consequences of these changes for many aspects of natural and human systems, the public health sector has not yet gained the attention it deserves. 

Climate change is already happening. Global average surface temperatures rose by about 0.6°C during the 20th century – the greatest rise of the past 1,000 years.

Rainfall over land has increased by 5-10% in the Northern hemisphere, while other regions have seen less rain.

Water shortages are projected to worsen in many water scarce areas of the world, and threats to human health are likely to increase, particularly in tropical/subtropical countries. Direct health impacts will be caused by heat stress and death or injury in floods and storms. Other threats will arise indirectly, through changes in the range of disease vectors and decreases in water quality, air quality and food security.

Weather-related disasters are increasing: affecting 2.5 billion people and inflicting more than US$ 400 billion of damage over the past decade. These figures reflect an alarming rise in vulnerability to extreme weather events.

  • What are the specific needs of developing countries?
  • How can funding be assured in order to address the specific health circumstances of the poor?
  • How important are meteorological variables in the complex cause-and-effect chain leading to disease outbreak?
  • Which innovative ideas exist to include the potential effects of climate change in health insurance systems?
  • What are priorities for adaptation strategies to maintain public health in the urban environment?

The World Health Summit will have a Symposium followed by a Panel Discussion on October 24th, 2011 on „Ensuring Public Health in the Times of Climate Change: Mission Impossible“ taking up these and other questions on redesigning healthcare provisions and systems. These questions will be raised with the public, private and non-profit- sectors.

The sessions will be co-hosted by the German Federal Foreign Office and the German Academy of Science Leopoldina.

Amongst the confirmed speakers for this session are:

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber| Director | Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) | Germany
Anthony McMichael
| Professor of Population Health | The Australian National University | Australia
Andrew Haines
|Director| London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | United Kingdom
Maria Neira
| Director Health and Climate | World Health Organization | Switzerland

The session will be chaired by:
Hans Joachim Schellnhuber

The Sessions take place at October 24th, 2011, 17.00-20.30 in the Main Hall.

Watch the Interview with Prof. Schellnhuber


Joachim Schellnhuber
Director at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany


Prof. Schellnhuber, a physicist and mathematician by training, is one of the most recognized scientists in the field of climate impact research. He has a strong track record in both academia and public policy advice on environment & development and strategic science matters. Professor Schellnhuber has been serving in numerous national and international panels. He currently chairs the German Advisory Council on Global Change and was the Chief Government Advisor on Climate & Related Issues for the German G8-EU twin presidency and Member of the High-Level Expert Group on Energy & Climate Change advising J.M. Barroso, President of the European Commission, in 2007.

In 1991, professor Schellnhuber founded the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), which has developed under his direction into one of the world’s leading interdisciplinary climate research institutions, involving social and natural sciences to study global change and its impacts on ecological, economic and social systems. Moreover, he became the Research Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and Professor at the Environmental Sciences School of the University of East Anglia in Norwich (UK) in 2001 and, subsequently, served as Visiting Professor in Physics and Visiting Fellow of Christ Church College at Oxford University. Apart from that, he is an active member of a variety of scientific societies, including the Max Planck Society, the German National Academy (Leopoldina), the US National Academy of Sciences.

As acknowledgement of his scientific merits and his extraordinary commitment to addressing the impact of climate change, Professor Schellnhuber received numerous prices, including, amongst others, the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award; the German Environment Price and the "Ambassador of Science" of the State of Brandenburg.

Joachim Schellnhuber will speak in the Panel Discussion on October 24th, 2011, 17.30 – 20.30 (Main Hall) about “Ensuring Public Health in Times of Climate Change”. Click <link program program-2011 _blank external-link-new-window external link in new>here to access the online program for details.




Summit Secretariat

Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Charitéplatz 1
10117 Berlin, Germany
Tel.: +49 30 450 572 117


Organizing Office

c/o K.I.T Group GmbH
Association & Conference Management Group
Kurfürstendamm 71, 10709 Berlin
Tel.: +49 30 246 03 240