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WHS 2023 Daily News

2023 - A Defining Year for Global Health Action
World Health Summit officially kicks off in Berlin

Berlin, October 15, 2023

On Sunday evening, the World Health Summit was officially opened in Berlin. The main topic of the opening ceremony “A Defining Year for Global Health Action” - the theme of WHS 2023.

At the opening ceremony, German Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach said: “The vital necessity for the global community to come together and unite in confronting our common global health challenges. Global health is a shared responsibility that can only be effectively addressed when we join forces and work together”.

EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides stated in her video speech: “In true Team Europe spirit, working closely with our member states, the new EU global health strategy is already on the road to implementation.” According to Kyriakides, the EU Commission is determined to “walk the talk.”

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who joined live digitally, stressed: “Humanity faces so many health challenges now, from war to the climate crisis; deepening poverty and growing hunger; rapidly depleting natural resources and natural disasters, and of course, global and regional disease outbreaks.” 

Mia Mottley, Premierminister of Barbados, commented in her pre-recorded speech: “Ultimately, if we want to achieve better health outcomes for the world's poor, which includes just about half of the population, then we need to develop more effective financing mechanisms that help the Global South build up its public health systems and to create robust and responsive domestic infrastructure.”

World Health Summit President Axel R. Pries called for global cooperation: “The world wide global health community has a responsibility: “We have to strengthen the spirit of international cooperation working for life and humanism on earth.”

Additional speakers for the opening ceremony:

- Aurélien Rousseau, Minister for Solidarity and Health, France
- Keizo Takemi, Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan
- Bharati Pravin Pawar, Minister of State of Health & Family Welfare, India
- Ina Czyborra, Berlin Senator for Higher Education and Research, Health and Long-Term Care, Germany
- Heyo Kroemer, CEO, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany
- Rose Gana Fomban Leke, Director Biotechnology Centre, Cameroon & Virchow Prize for Global Health Laureate
- Omnia El Omrani, Youth Envoy to the President of the UN 27th Climate Change Conference (COP27), Egypt
- Sunao Manabe, Executive Chairperson and CEO, Daiichi Sankyo, Japan
- Bernd Montag, CEO, Siemens Healthineers, Germany
- Christina Chilimba, Founder and Executive Director, All for Youth, Malawi

More on the opening ceremony

Impression of the Day

Don't miss these special events at WHS 2023

Monday, October 16

12:45 PM - 1:45 PM, Room Europe
PD 13a: Launch of the Equity 2030 Alliance
Hosts: The Government of Ghana,The Government of Norway, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
More info

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM, Room Rudolf Virchow
KEY 04: Global Financing Facility (GFF) Pledging Event
Hosts: Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany (BMZ), Global Financing Facility (GFF), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, The Government of Côte d’Ivoire, The World Bank
More info

6:00 PM - 11:00 PM Room Europe
- Award Ceremony for Seth Berkley, global advocate of the power of vaccines and former CEO of GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, for his Lifetime Achievement in global health
- Handover of the annual International World Health Summit Presidency from George Washington University, USA to Monash University, Australia and introduction of the next WHS Regional Meeting in Melbourne, Australia in April 2024

In case you couldn’t make it to Berlin: Join the World Health Summit 2023 online for free, links and all info on the program are available on

In case you missed a speaker or a session: Rewatch it all on YouTube.

Share your impressions and opinions on #WHS2023 on TwitterLinkedInFacebookInstagram

The World Health Summit is the unique international strategic global health forum and brings together stakeholders from politics, science, the private sector, and civil society from all regions of the world. The World Health Summit 2023 is once again held under the patronage of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, and the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. More than 300 speakers in over 60 sessions discuss topics like climate change and health, pandemic preparedness, prevention, and response, digital technologies, the role of the G7 and G20 in global health, and 75 years of WHO. Under the theme "A Defining Year for Global Health Action", WHS 2023 will set the agenda for a healthier future by inspiring innovative solutions for better health and well-being for all.

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