Geneva meetings and events:
Global health and related sectors

The humanitarian #MeToo moment- where do we go from here?
Mar 22 @ 12:30 – 14:00

“There has been much discussion recently around sexual abuse in the humanitarian sector following the widely reported scandal at Oxfam UK in Haiti. But beyond the headlines, there is a recognition that no organisation is immune. This problem affects the whole humanitarian sector and its ability to operate, maintain public trust, funding and more.

The Graduate Institute and IRIN News are co-hosting a frank and open discussion on what the #MeToo moment means for the humanitarian sector. Bringing together whistle-blower, investigator, NGO and donor perspectives, this discussion aims to shift the debate towards a more nuanced and constructive examination of the issue. You’ll also hear directly from Oxfam, the organization whose internal investigation sparked the media firestorm.


  • Elisabeth Prügl, Professor in International Relations and Political Science, The Graduate Institute, Geneva

Panel discussion:

  • Avril Benoit, Director of Communications and Fundraising, Médecins Sans Frontières
  • Hannah Clare, Head of Safeguarding , Norwegian Refugee Council & former Head of Safeguarding,  Oxfam
  • Jeremy Konyndyk, Former Director of the United States Agency for International Development, Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance
  • Amira Malik Miller, Swedish civil servant and former aid worker
  • Fionna Smyth, Head of Humanitarian Policy and Campaigns, Oxfam GB


  • Heba Aly, Director, IRIN News

With the contribution of:

  • Maria Thestrup, Code of Conduct Compliance Officer, International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Gry Tina Tinde, Work Gender and Diversity Coordinator, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies “

Source: Graduate Institute

World Health Day 2018: Universal health coverage: everyone, everywhere
Apr 7 all-day

“The World Health Organization was founded on the principle that all people should be able to realize their right to the highest possible level of health.

“Health for all” has therefore been our guiding vision for more than seven decades. It’s also the impetus behind the current organization-wide drive to support countries in moving towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

Experience has illustrated, time and again, that Universal Health Coverage is achieved when political will is strong.

So in this 70th anniversary year, WHO is calling on world leaders to live up to the pledges they made when they agreed the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, and commit to concrete steps to advance the health of all people. This means ensuring that everyone, everywhere can access essential quality health services without facing financial hardship.

The Organization will maintain a high-profile focus on UHC via a series of events through 2018, starting on World Health Day on 7 April with global and local conversations about ways to achieve health for all.

Why universal health coverage matters?

Countries that invest in UHC make a sound investment in their human capital. In recent decades, UHC has emerged as a key strategy to make progress towards other health-related and broader development goals. Access to essential quality care and financial protection not only enhances people’s health and life expectancy, it also protects countries from epidemics, reduces poverty and the risk of hunger, creates jobs, drives economic growth and enhances gender equality.

What World Health Day can do?

Some countries have already made significant progress towards universal health coverage. But half the world’s population is still unable to obtain the health services they need. If countries are to achieve the SDG target, one billion more people need to benefit from UHC by 2023.

World Health Day will shine a spotlight on the need for UHC – and the advantages it can bring. WHO and its partners will share examples of steps to take to get there through a series of events and conversations held at multiple levels.

As our Director-General has said “No one should have to choose between death and financial hardship. No one should have to choose between buying medicine and buying food.”

Throughout 2018, we aim to inspire, motivate and guide UHC stakeholders to make commitments towards UHC:

  • Inspire—by highlighting policy-makers’ power to transform the health of their nation, framing the challenge as exciting and ambitious, and inviting them to be part of the change.
  • Motivate—by sharing examples of how countries are already progressing towards UHC and encourage others to find their own path.
  • Guide—by providing tools for structured policy dialogue on how to advance UHC domestically or supporting such efforts in other countries (e.g. expanding service coverage, improving quality of services, reducing out-of-pocket payments).

Theme, slogan and hashtag

  • The theme of World Health Day is: Universal health coverage: everyone, everywhere.
  • The slogan is “Health for All”.
  • The primary hashtag that we are using is #HealthForAll but look out for posts using #WorldHealthDay as well.”

Source: WHO


Geneva Health Forum 2018
Apr 10 – Apr 12 all-day

“The Geneva Health Forum (GHF), a biennial event launched in 2006 and held in the Spring, combines plenary and parallel sessions attended by hundreds of participants, with a large international exhibition area.

Geneva University Hospitals (HUG) along with the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Geneva, and Swiss and International organizations committed to Global Health have joined their talents and resources to organize the Geneva Health Forum.

The GHF was established to link policy and practice, and addresses health issues through an integrative approach. It is known as the largest event in Europe gathering such a distinguished audience, composed of academic leaders, practitioners, policy makers, diplomats, representatives of donor agencies and healthcare providers.

Keynotes lectures and plenary sessions are given by international health leaders, and series of workshops, oral and poster sessions are held. These foster and nurture stimulating discussions on major global health issues. All plenary sessions as well as a track of parallel sessions are simultaneously translated in French and English. ghf_4_groupes The GHF also provides a platform for showcasing the international and humanitarian, practice and solution-oriented commitment of the participants, and gives a voice to those active in the frontlines of global health.

Geneva provides a unique opportunity to the leading global health organizations to meet with governmental delegations appointed by most countries through their permanent UN representations. Indeed, Geneva hosts major international organizations in charge of health and humanitarian action, influential foundations, NGOs and public-private partnership organizations in the field of global health.

The Lake Geneva area, often described as the “Health Valley”, presents a unique concentration of healthcare and academic institutions, and is blooming with many innovative biotech, medtech, and engineering start-ups as well as larger companies in the health sector.

The seventh edition of GHF, will take place from April 10-12, 2018 at the International Conference Center of Geneva (CICG).”

Source: GHF website
Theme 2018: Precision Global Health in the Digital Age
Call for abstracts:

Presentation of the 2018 OECD Report on Global Philanthropy for Development
Apr 19 @ 17:45 – 19:30

“The Graduate Institute’s Centre for Finance and Development and the Geneva Centre for Philanthropy of the University of Geneva are delighted to partner with the OECD Global Network of Foundations Working for Development (netFWD) on the occasion of the presentation of the 2018 OECD Report on Global Philanthropy for Development. The programme will be as follows:

17:45: Welcome remarks by Philippe Burrin, Director, The Graduate Institute, Geneva

17:50-18:15: Presentation of the 2018 OECD Report on Global Philanthropy for Development by Ewelina Oblacewicz, Co-ordinator, netFWD, Partnerships & Networks Unit, OECD Development Centre

18:15-19:30: Panel discussion on Philanthropy in Developing Countries

  • Lynda Mansson, Director General, Mava Foundation, Switzerland
  • Geoffrey So, Head of Partnerships, Novartis Foundation, Switzerland
  • Henry Peter, Professor at the Law School and Head of the Geneva Centre for Philanthropy, University of Geneva
  • Ugo Panizza, Professor, International Economics, and Director, Centre for Finance and Development, Graduate Institute, Geneva
  • Moderator: Maximilian Martin, Global Head of Philanthropy, Lombard Odier

This event is part of the CFD-IFIs Flagship Reports Series and is jointly organized with:


The presentation will take place on Thursday 19 April 2018 from 17:45 to 19:30 at Maison de la Paix, Geneva, in Auditorium Ivan Pictet.

Entrance is free, but registration is required.”

Source and registration: Graduate Institute

Civil society meetings ahead of the 71st World Health Assembly
May 18 – May 20 all-day

The Steering Committee of G2H2 will decide in mid-March on the programme of the civil society meetings ahead of the 71st World Health Assembly and then publish a first announcment on this page. Stay tuned!

Contact/enquiries: G2H2 Secretariat

WHA71: Technical briefings, other meetings at the Palais des Nations and side events – an overview
May 19 – May 26 all-day

We will publish here, starting in mid-April 2018, an overview of meetings taking place during the 71st World Health Assembly at the Palais des Nations and in town:

  • Technical Briefings organized by the WHO Secretariat and open to WHA delegates
    (source: WHA Journal)
  • Meetings at the Palais des Nations organized by WHO Member States and open to WHA delegates
    (source: WHA Journal)
  • WHA Side events at the Palais des Nations organized by non-State Actors in official relations with WHO
    (source: WHO Secretariat)
  • other meetings taking place in the WHA week organized by various actors

For events at the Palais des Nations, WHA registration (badge)  is required.
Send your announcements of meetings outside the Palais des Nations to:
Enquiries: Please get in touch with the organizer

Walk the Talk: The Health for All Challenge
May 20 @ 10:00 – 13:00

“As part of celebrations of the World Health Organization’s 70th anniversary in 2018, WHO is staging a major health promotion event in Geneva on the eve of the 71st World Health Assembly.

The free walk/run event, titled Walk the Talk: The Health for All Challenge, will be open to people of all ages and abilities and be held over three distances (short 3 kilometres, medium 5 kilometres and long 8 kilometres). These connected routes will build a bridge between “international” and “local” Geneva and Lac Leman by linking key health, international and touristic landmarks found in the city.

Other activities and interactive events will be located along the routes.

Aims of the event

  • To raise awareness and profile of the work and goals of WHO and other global health agencies based in Geneva, highlighting the city’s role as a global health capital in improving global health.
  • Engage World Health Assembly delegates, the UN family and the Geneva community in a celebration of WHO’s 70th birthday.
  • Launch a global movement to promote health and particularly physical activity as part of a healthy sustainable future

WHO has been joined by Geneva authorities, the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations, the United Nations Office at Geneva, Permanent Missions to the UN offices in Geneva, and other interested parties in staging the event.

Governments, community groups, advocates of health and members of the public around the world are encouraged to stage similar events during 2018 as part of WHO’s 70th anniversary and in support of promoting healthier lifestyles and access to health for all through universal health coverage.


Paul Garwood:

Source: WHO

71st World Health Assembly (WHA71) and related events
May 21 – May 26 all-day

“The World Health Assembly is the supreme decision-making body for WHO. 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)

Global Health & Antimicrobial Resistance: A Global Challenge
May 23 all-day

“A one-day intensive training course, consisting of interactive presentations, discussions and practical problem exercises engaging in lively and productive discussions and contributions from all professionals engaged in antimicrobial resistance.

The workshop program will include topics on:

  • The complexity of resistance
  • AMR as a risk for health, security and development
  • AMR surveillance and research
  • Optimization of the use of antimicrobial agents
  • Common problems and possible solutions for programmatic management of AMR
  • International aspects of antimicrobial resistance
  • Actors and partnership to fight AMR
  • Sustainable investments for AMR
  • AMR action plan & health system strengthening”

Source and more info:

First WHO Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health
Oct 30 @ 14:43 – Nov 1 @ 15:43

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