A World Health Assembly in times of a dual crisis:
Covid-19 and the collapse of multilateralism as we have known it
G2H2 civil society meetings related to WHA73 and WHO EB 147
Friday, 15 May and Tuesday, 26 May 2020, 15.00 – 17.00 h
With the WHO at the heart of a fierce geopolitical tension between the US and China, and large physical meetings banned in Geneva for the time being due to the Coronavirus crisis, we have all been waiting to know what alternative plans the WHO had for its governing bodies’ meetings, namely the 73rd World Health Assembly and the 147th Session of the WHO Executive Board.
Finally, last week, we got the official information: WHA73 aand EB147 will both be held “virtually”, using video conference technology, albeit no information is provided to date about options of participation of civil society in these proceedings. According to the WHO Secretariat, both meetings will entirely focus on Covid-19 and needed elections on EB members. Other technical issues are postponed.
As civil society actors, we need to adapt ourselves to Covid uncertainties, but this new (temporary?) normal will hopefully enhance our ingenuity. Since we cannot meet in person for our usual civil society meeting before the WHA in Geneva, we feel that we should use this opportunity for convening also in the virtual space, thereby introducing this new meeting style in G2H2, and using its potentials at best.
That is why we are planning to host two civil society meetings related to the role of the WHO and the crisis of multilateralism around the upcoming sessions of the WHO governing body meetings.
- The first civil society meeting, on Friday 15 May 2020, 15.00 – 17.00 hrs CEST
Topic: “Covid-19: The collapse of multilateralism?”
- The second civil society meeting on Tuesday 26 May 2020, 15.00 – 17.00 hrs CEST
Topic: Reflecting on WHA73 and EB147: How we make sense of what has happened and how can civil society organizations find and defend their space in Global Health Governance / Global Governance for Health?
Save the dates!
A formal announcement with a more detailed program will be sent out soon, including a registration form.
…and hopefully more in the last quarter of 2020: We still expect the WHO Secretariat to reconvene both WHA73 and EB147 in autumn 2020, with a full technical agenda. We will then also convene the “traditional” G2H2 civil society meetings, hopefully in-person and in Geneva, and with a jointly developed full program.