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World Health Assembly to take important decisions affecting public health

16–25 May 2005

General information

The Fifty-eighth World Health Assembly (WHA) is set to consider several critical health issues next week. The WHA, comprised of the World Health Organization's (WHO) 192 Member States, is the supreme decision-making body for WHO and its main function is to determine the policies of the Organization. This year's meeting takes place from 16-25 May.

The Assembly will review the proposed programme budget for 2006-2007, and consider more than a dozen draft resolutions on issues including cancer prevention and control, health action in crises, tuberculosis, malaria, pandemic influenza preparedness and response, global immunization and social health insurance. The Assembly will also receive updates on progress in polio eradication, scaling up of HIV/AIDS treatment and care, and promotion of healthy lifestyles. This year's invited speakers are the President of the Republic of Maldives His Excellency Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and the Co-Founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates.

Links to a list of agenda items and other events which may be of particular interest to journalists can be found to the right. Accompanying documents and background information can be found at the WHA documentation web site in six languages. Items which contain draft resolutions to be reviewed during committee meetings for formal adoption by the Assembly at plenary sessions are underlined. Note that Member States can submit new resolutions for WHA consideration.

Depending on the lengths of discussions, times and dates for agenda items will likely shift, so journalists should regularly consult the World Health Assembly Journal which is posted daily. You can also contact WHO staff for updates - a full list of media staff and their contact details is attached at the end of this note.