Geneva meetings and events:
Global health and related sectors

Development of the Roadmap on access to medicines and vaccines 2019-2023, WHO informal discussion with stakeholders
Sep 10 all-day

“Access to safe, effective and quality medicines and vaccines for all is one of the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals. Achieving universal health coverage requires access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines. Access is a global concern in view of the: rising prices of new medicines that place increasing pressure on the ability of all health systems to provide full and affordable access to health care; persisting problems of shortages and stock outs of essential medicines, especially for noncommunicable diseases, and vaccines; and increasing numbers of substandard and falsified medical products that pose an unacceptable risk to public health. In addition, problems such as antimicrobial resistance and opioid misuse highlight the need to improve appropriate use of medicines.

In May 2018, the Seventy-first World Health Assembly considered a report by the Director-General on addressing the global shortage of, and access to, medicines and vaccines. 1 The report focused on a list of priority options for actions to be considered by Member States and presented a comprehensive report by the Director-General on access to essential medicines and vaccines. The Health Assembly then adopted decision WHA71(8), in which it decided to request the Director-General to elaborate a road map, in consultation with Member States, outlining the programming of WHO’s work on access to medicines and vaccines for the period 2019-2023, including activities, actions and deliverables. The Health Assembly also requested the Director-General to submit the road map to the Seventy Second World Health Assembly, through the Executive Board at its 144th session.

Road map on access to medicines and vaccines 2019-2023

In response, the Secretariat has prepared a zero draft document of the road map on access to medicines and vaccines 2019-2023. Based on the priority options for actions presented in the report submitted to the Health Assembly in May 2018, the draft road map outlines the actions and deliverables for the 10 strategic activities.

Consultation process

Online consultation for Member States:
9 July-16 August 2018 Contact details (including email address) for the focal point from the Ministry of Health should be sent to the Department of Essential Medicines and Health Products at to obtain access the survey for the online consultation.

Member States consultation:
Member States Consultation: 10-11 September 2018 at WHO Headquarters, Geneva. The meeting will open at 14:00 on Monday, 10 September 2018. Advance confirmation of delegations is requested by 2 August via email to

Informal discussion with stakeholders:
10 September 2018 at WHO Headquarters, Geneva from 9:00-12:30. Invitations to this meeting will be sent to entities that carry out work on access to medicines and vaccines, including partners and non-State actors in official relations with WHO and bodies of the UN system and related organizations.”


WHO Technical Briefing Seminar on Essential Medicines Policies and Programmes
Oct 1 – Oct 5 all-day

“The general English Technical Briefing Seminar includes presentations, briefings and discussions around the following topics:

  • National Medicines Policies and Good Governance
  • Access to Medicines and Country Support Strategies
  • Selection and Rational Use of Essential Medicines
  • Quality Assurance of Medicines and Medical Products
  • Pharmacovigilance
  • Access to Controlled Medicines
  • Medicine Pricing and Financing Strategies
  • Medicine Supply Systems and Procurement
  • Regulatory Systems and Support
  • The WHO Prequalification Programme

There will also be a special “hot topics” session focusing on areas of particular interest and relevance at the time of the seminar.


The technical briefing seminar will be of interest to Ministry of Health officials who deal with pharmaceutical issues, regional advisers and country office staff of WHO and other UN agencies, national and regional drug regulators, government and non-government officials, academics and pharmaceutical company representatives.

Expected Outcomes

By the end of the seminar participants will:

  • Have a general understanding of the most common problems in the pharmaceutical sector in developing and transitional countries; and will have shared experiences in addressing these challenges;
  • Have a general understanding of how WHO support developing and transitional countries in strengthening the pharmaceutical sector;
  • Be aware of ways to strengthen collaboration with WHO and other organizations supporting the pharmaceutical sector in developing and transitional countries;
  • Be aware of critical issues such as quality and pharmacovigilance, pricing issues, counterfeit medicines.

Seminar design, presenters & facilitators

Each session combines a presentation from a WHO or invited speaker with active discussion and on occasions group work.
For each sessions key documents are identified and these together with the PowerPoint slides used are provided to participants after the seminar.
One afternoon is available for individual appointments with WHO staff.


Attendance is limited to 30 places. Participation is free of charge. However, each participant is responsible for own travel and accommodation costs.
The closing date for the submission of applications is 15 August 2018. Please apply using the Electronic Application Form.
(Based on past experience we encourage participants from countries for which Schengen visas are required to apply early.)”

Source, more information: WHO website

First WHO Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health
Oct 30 – Nov 1 all-day

Improving air quality, combatting climate change – saving lives

“The Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health, 30 October – 1 November 2018 is the first-ever global event to focus on both Air Pollution and Health. Participants will include Ministers of Health and Environment and other national government representatives; representatives of intergovernmental agencies, health professionals, other sectors (e.g. transport, energy, etc.), as well as from research, academia and civil society. The conference will also advance collaborations between WHO and sister UN agencies.

The Conference responds to a World Health Assembly mandate to combat one of the world’s most significant causes of premature mortality, causing some 6.5 million deaths annually. Air pollution in most cities exceeds recommended WHO Air Quality levels. Household air pollution is a leading killer in poor rural and urban homes. Up to 1/3 of deaths from stroke, lung cancer and heart disease are due to air pollution. Affordable strategies exist to reduce key pollution emissions from the transport, energy, agriculture, waste, and housing sectors. Health conscious strategies can reduce climate change and support Sustainable Development Goals for Health, Energy and Cities.

Conference aims and outcomes

The conference will feature a “Call for Urgent Action” with agreement on a target for reducing the 6.5 million deaths a year due to air pollution by 2030, as a contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Countries, urban mayors and civil society will be invited to make commitments to the global advocacy campaign to meet WHO Air Quality Guidelines and reduce climate emissions. The conference will underline the links between air pollution and the global epidemic of NCDs and position the health sector to catalyse actions for health-wise policies on clean household energy, transport and waste.

Conference sessions and activities

Conference sessions will cover themes such as: Science and Evidence, including the latest on health effects, forecasting and monitoring, and extreme events; Methods and Tools for Informed Decisions – estimating health impacts and planning interventions in sectors like transport, energy and waste, as developed by the Urban Health Initiative; Strategies and solutions being adopted by countries and cities to improve air quality at urban and household level; Cross-sector collaborations between health, environment and development sectors to reduce air pollution and mitigate climate change; Partnerships and Advocacy with countries and cities, UN partners, development agencies, research, university and civil society.


The Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health, 30 October – 1 November 2018 will be organized at WHO Headquarters in Geneva, in collaboration with UN Environment, World Meteorological Organization and the Secretariat of the UNFCCC. Invitations will be issued in the first quarter of 2018. Remote participation will be facilitated by webcasting and live-streaming of the sessions. For more information contact:

Conference logistics

Source, background, updates: WHO conference website