This week: 72nd World Health Assembly

From May 20-28, the 72nd session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) will take place in Geneva, Switzerland. Each year, senior health officials from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Member States gather there to discuss the WHO’s progress, new goals and global health agenda and challenges. Wemos will be present as well as a civil society organization and attend sessions on Financing for Health, the Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being and Access to Medicines.

As the decision-making body of the WHO, the WHA (among others) determines the organization’s policies, appoints the Director-General, and approves the programme budget. On this year’s agenda are topics relevant to Wemos, like universal health coverage, access to medicines and vaccines, and the global strategy on human resources for health (HRH). For example, Italy has proposed an important resolution on improved transparency on medicines prices and R&D costs that has been stirring up a lot of debate and has the pharmaceutical industry on edge. Wemos is of the opinion that the resolution needs to be adopted in order to make more medicines become better available & affordable for all.


For Human resources for health, there is an update report on the Global Strategy for HRH and a report on the implementation of the WHO Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Workers. Both reports reveal interesting information on the state of efforts to remedy the global health workforce crisis. The information will prove relevant in view of the upcoming review of the WHO Code, scheduled for later this year, and in which Wemos will participate.


Global health advocates Amanda Banda, Corinne Hinlopen and Lisa Seidelmann, as well as Wemos director Mariëlle Bemelmans will attend the WHA. Stay tuned for a debrief on our visit!


Follow the WHA live


Recent News items

Watch the plan, watch the GAP!


The ‘Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All’ (GAP) was launched in September 2019 by twelve multilateral health, development and humanitarian agencies  to better support countries to accelerate progress towards the health-related Sustainable Development Goals through strengthened collaboration and coordination. However, since then, there has been not much news about the GAP and its implementation. Today, the Watch the GAP! Task Group (which includes Wemos) launches its analysis paper on the GAP. Does it fit with national health policies and ownership? Does the GAP contribute to what it is intended to do, and can it make a difference?

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Royal distinction for Wemos founder Wilbert Bannenberg


Wemos’ co-founder Wilbert Bannenberg has officially received his royal distinction from the mayor of Bergeijk today. In April, during the annual royal honour day, Wilbert was awarded the Dutch royal honour title of ‘Officer in the Order of Oranje-Nassau’ for his lifetime work on access to medicines.

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