World Conference on Social Determinants of Health

World Conference to be discussed at next Executive Board meeting

9 November 2011 - In January 2012, the WHO Executive Board will review the outcome of the World Conference on Social Determinants of Health, including progress on the implementation of WHA resolution 62.14.

The WHA resolution 62.14 (2009) requested the WHO Director-General to support Member States to take action on social determinants of health and to convene a global event - with the assistance of Member States - to discuss renewed plans for addressing the alarming trends of health inequities.

Held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 19-21 October 2011, the World Conference on Social Determinants of Health has been a landmark event, bringing together over one hundred Member States and a diverse group of stakeholders. The various conference sessions - including the plenary, ministerial track and technical sessions - were addressed by over 50 high-level dignitaries, including Brazil's Vice President, Michel Temer.

On 21 October 2011, Member States attending the conference adopted the Rio Political Declaration on Social Determinants of Health, pledging to work towards reducing health inequities by taking action across five core areas. The declaration expresses global political commitment for the implementation of a 'social determinants of health approach', and it is expected to help build momentum within countries for the development of dedicated national action plans and strategies.

The discussions at the Executive Board Meeting in January 2012 and the Sixty-fifth World Health Assembly will further contribute to the priority-setting at the national and global levels for future work on social determinants of health. These deliberations will also provide guidance on how the recommendations of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health (2008) and the pledges contained in the declaration could be taken forward.