Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Sixty-sixth World Health Assembly: Promoting health through the life-course

Promoting health through the life-course was at the spotlight of the discussions at the Sixty-sixth World Health Assembly, held 20–28 May 2013, with discussions taking place in the official agenda as well as numerous side events organized in collaboration with Member States and other partners.

Speeches and addresses

UN Secretary-General statement: last 1000 days for MDGs and the path forward

A statement by the UN Secretary-General was delivered by Mr Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Director-General of the United Nations Office in Geneva, drawing attention to the positive effect the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on the global health agenda. He noted MDG-related items on the agenda of the Assembly, such as vaccines and commodities for women’s and children’s health.

WHO’s Director-General addresses Ministers of Health

Dr Margaret Chan called on Member States to do everything they can to ensure that health occupies a high place on the new development agenda, including continued efforts to reach the health-related MDGs after 2015. She highlighted the encouraging progress on women’s and children’s health, and spoke of the new Integrated Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea as an example of “a power house that can revolutionize child survival”, bringing together the newest interventions with the time-tested basics such as breastfeeding and handwashing to achieve greater impact and strengthen systems in the process. She also highlighted the Global Vaccine Action Plan as a roadmap to save more than 20 million lives by 2020.

Invited speakers on Tuesday support WHO’s work

This year’s WHA saw very special guests: for the first time, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and African Union Chairperson Mrs Zuma were invited as special speakers. Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson addressed also the world’s Ministers of Health. They all emphasized the importance of continuing to work on women’s and children’s health as part of the efforts to reduce poverty and universal health coverage as critical to sustainable development, and focused on the strong links between health and development, encouraging WHO to continue the work it is doing.