Geneva meetings and events:
Global health and related sectors

Global Health Governance : The Power of Law
Mar 26 @ 18:30 – 20:00

“There is growing awareness among international lawyers as well as health scholars and policy-makers about the influence of public health considerations on the design and implementation of multiple international legal regimes, from human rights to investment law and from international technical standards to environmental law.  Yet talk of “global health law” as a distinct field of international law is contradicted by extreme fragmentation and conflicts or overlaps between legal regimes.  There is a need for a holistic reflection both on the operation of specific international legal regimes as well as on general principles and concepts underlying the role of health in international law.

In this panel discussion, which also coincides with the publication of the first systematic overview of the role of health as a normative value in international law, four academic experts and contributors to the book will present their insights on their respective fields, their mutual interaction and reflect on the future research agenda for this complex and burgeoning field of scholarship.

Gian Luca Burci, Adjunct Professor of International Law, the Graduate Institute

Brigit Toebes, Professor, Health Law in a Global Context, Groningen University


  • Contemporary Global Health Governance in a Normative Perspective
    Suerie Moon, Director of Research, Global Health Centre, the Graduate Institute
  • The Fight against Infectious Diseases as the Core of Global Health Law
    Stefania Negri, Jean Monnet Chair in European Health, Environmental and Food Safety Law, University of Salerno
  • Global Health and the Human Rights Agenda
    Therese Murphy, Professor of Law and Director of the Health & Human rights Unit, Queen’s University Belfast
  • The Economics Challenge: Health and International Trade Law
    Benn McGrady, Technical Officer (Legal), Department of Prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases, World Health Organization

You can find the programme of this event here.”

Source and registration: Graduate Institute

Solidarity chain (World Health Day event)
Apr 5 @ 12:00 – 14:00

“This year’s World Health Day will focus on equity and solidarity. To represent these values WHO will aim to create a bold visual statement. A Solidarity Chain of more than 1000 participants from WHO, UN agencies and health partners will come together to join hands as a symbol of their commitment to bridging gaps and working collaboratively towards universal health coverage. The Chain will stretch from the doors of the WHO building to Place des Nations, in front of the UN building.

This will be one of many chains being formed around the world. By joining the Solidarity Chain you can join people all over the world, from health workers and policy makers to NGOs and patients, to show your support for health for all.

Register now to join us on 5 April 2019 from 12h00 to 14h00. The Solidarity Chain will be assembled and filmed from 12h00. Participants will then walk down to Place des Nations to listen to speakers and musical entertainment. A light lunch will be provided at Place des Nations from 13h00 for those who took part in the Chain.

More information and instructions will be provided by email in the weeks leading up to the event.”

Source and registration: WHO

World Health Day 2019: Universal Health Coverage
Apr 7 all-day

The following is quoted from the WHO website:

“World Health Day 2019 falls midway between the Global Conference on Primary Health Care held in Astana, Kazakhstan in October 2018 and the High-level Meeting on universal health coverage to be held at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2019. The Day is one of many opportunities to communicate about the importance of equity in health-care services, for not only the health of individuals, but also for the health of economies and society at large.”

“Universal health coverage is WHO’s number one goal. Key to achieving it is ensuring that everyone can obtain the care they need, when they need it, right in the heart of the community.

Progress is being made in countries in all regions of the world. But millions of people still have no access at all to health care. Millions more are forced to choose between health care and other daily expenses such as food, clothing and even a home.

This is why WHO is focusing on universal health coverage for this year’s World Health Day, on 7 April.

What we aim to achieve through the campaign

This campaign aims to help people better understand what universal health coverage means – what services and support should be available and where. We will provide visual material that helps people who have access to quality, affordable health care to understand what life is like for people without it and to advocate for equal access to care, everywhere.

Health-care workers will have an important role to play in the campaign, helping decision-makers for health recognize what people need in terms of care, particularly at the primary care level.

The campaign also presents an opportunity for ministers of health and other government decision-makers to commit to taking action to address gaps in universal health coverage in their countries, as well as to highlight progress that has already been made.

For World Health Day, we will release WHO’s annual publication of health data, the World Health Statistics Report. The report will include information on health trends in specific areas such as newborn and child health, noncommunicable diseases, mental health and environmental risks, and also data on universal health coverage and health systems.”

Details of World Health Day celebrations in Geneva and elsewhere are not yet known. Watch the WHO website for updates.

FAO / WHO / WTO International Forum on Food Safety and Trade
Apr 23 – Apr 24 all-day

“With an estimated 600 million cases of foodborne illnesses annually, unsafe food is a threat to human health and economies, disproportionally affecting vulnerable and marginalized people, especially women and children, populations affected by conflict and migrants.

This joint conference will bring together Ministers of Health, Ministers of Agriculture, leading scientific experts, partner agencies as well as representatives of consumers, food producers and the private sector to:

  •  Identify key actions and strategies to address current and future challenges to food safety globally;
  • Strengthen commitment at the highest political level to scale up food safety in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Ongoing changes in climate, global food production and supply systems affect consumers, industry and the planet itself. These changes can have an impact on food safety systems and pose sustainability and development challenges.

This is a pivotal moment demanding urgent international reflection on actions needed to bolster food safety, which will start in Addis Ababa and continue in Geneva. Priorities will be discussed so that food safety strategies and approaches can be aligned across sectors and borders, reinforcing efforts to reach the Sustainable Development Goals and supporting the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition.

The First FAO/WHO/AU International Conference on Food Safety is being held ahead of the International Forum on Food Safety and Trade, organized by FAO, WHO and WTO in Geneva on 23-24 April 2019.”

Source: FAO

Civil society meetings ahead of the 72nd World Health Assembly
May 17 – May 18 all-day

A first announcement of the G2H2 civil society meetings ahead of the Seventy-Second World Health Assembly will be published here in March or early April, including a call for proposals.

Save the dates! And join G2H2 to get engaged and to support our work. For enquiries, please get in touch with the G2H2 secretariat.


What’s up in Geneva during WHA72?
May 17 – May 28 all-day

Find our overview of technical briefings, official side events and other meetings during the 72th World Health Assembly here:

Seventy-second World Health Assembly
May 20 – May 28 all-day

“The World Health Assembly is the supreme decision-making body for the World Health Organization. It generally meets in Geneva in May each year, and is attended by delegations from all 194 Member States. Its main function is to determine the policies of the Organization. The Health Assembly appoints the Director-General, supervises the financial policies of the Organization, and reviews and approves the Proposed programme budget. It similarly considers reports of the Executive Board, which it instructs in regard to matters upon which further action, study, investigation or report may be required.” (Source: WHO website)

The provisional agenda and preliminary daily timetable of the Seventy-second World Health Assembly was submitted to the WHO Executive Board for consideration at its 144th session in January 2019: see document EB144/41 Rev 1

WHO governing body documentation: here 
Civil society meeting ahead of WHA72: here
Overview: “What’s up in Geneva during WHA72”: here