Member States and stakeholders to discuss social determinants of health in Brazil
WHO is convening a global conference on 19-21 October, 2011, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to build support for the implementation of action on social determinants of health. The conference is being organized in accordance with a 2009 World Health Assembly resolution and will be hosted by the Government of Brazil. The Brazilian Ministry of Health, the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) and the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs are working closely with WHO on preparing the event.
The conference will bring together Member States and stakeholders to share experiences on policies and strategies aiming to reduce health inequities. It will provide a global platform for dialogue on how the recommendations of the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health (2008) could be taken forward. The key aim of the process is to draw global lessons learnt and to catalyse coordinated global action in five key areas.
The themes of the conference are closely linked to the agenda of the First Global Ministerial conference on healthy lifestyles and noncommunicable disease control (Moscow, the Russian Federation, 28-29 April, 2011), the UN High-level Meeting on Noncommunicable Disease Prevention and Control (New York, USA, 19-20 September, 2011), the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012 (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and the 8th Global Conference on Health Promotion in 2013 (Helsinki, Finland).
To move the social determinants agenda forward, the challenge now is to understand how various sectors and stakeholders can best be linked, and coordinated policies developed. Not least through its outcome document, the Rio Declaration, this conference will help to build high-level international backing for the further development and implementation of targeted national policies to address social determinants of health.
The conference will be attended by ministers of health, foreign affairs, the environment and other sectors; representatives of international agencies, philanthropic institutions and civil society organizations; leading academics and technical experts; and representatives from the private sector. Invitations to Member State delegations were issued in May, while invitations to other participants will be sent out during the months of June and July.
The conference will be structured around the following five themes:
- governance to tackle the root causes of health inequities: implementing action on social determinants of health;
- the role of the health sector, including public health programmes, in reducing health inequities;
- promoting participation: community leadership for action on social determinants;
- global action on social determinants: aligning priorities and stakeholders;
- monitoring progress: measurement and analysis to inform policies on social determinants.