World Health Assembly Roundup 

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Major wins for climate, health, and wellbeing at this year’s World Health Assembly – but the work isn’t done

Our Seed Global Health team joined governments, international organizations, NGOs, private sector companies, and advocates last week in Geneva for the 77th World Health Assembly.

Key takeaways to inform the way forward:

✅ We saw major wins for climate change and health, which built on the momentum begun at COP28 last December. Wins included climate change and health being prioritized as part of the WHO’s General Program of Work (GPW 14) and significant resolutions adopted on Climate Change and Health and Economic Health for All

Member countries failed to reach agreement on the Pandemic Treaty. All eyes were on the Palais to see if they could finalize the text, but by the end of WHA77, efforts failed. Instead, 194 countries made concrete commitments to complete the negotiations within a year. We’ll be watching this space closely over the next several months.

Our CEO Dr. Vanessa Kerry’s op-ed in STAT News is a must read as the pandemic treaty negotiations continue. Dr. Kerry argues the critical foundation for any future agreement’s success are strong health systems – which so far the world has failed to deliver.

Climate and health financing must move faster. We heard throughout the week how financing for climate and health must be flexible, accessible, long-term, and quickly reach the communities who need it most. Without innovative financing solutions, more people will die, especially in times of crisis. Malawi’s Minister of Health H.E. Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda hit the nail on the head while speaking at a Seed-hosted event at the Foreign Policy Global Health Policy Forum: “This is the time for action, not just pledges.” We cannot afford to wait. 

Looking ahead to COP29 and beyond. Despite the gains made at COP28 and WHA77, there is concern about losing momentum on climate change and health. With the COP29 presidency not planning to prioritize health this year (as was done at COP28), climate and health advocates are looking to the G7 and G20 meetings as opportunities to keep the topic high on the world’s agenda. Climate is on the agenda at both the G7 and G20, and with Brazil hosting this year’s G20 and COP30 in 2025, we’ll be advocating with and alongside our many partners to keep the momentum going. 

Continuing the fight. Our work does not stop between international convenings. The climate crisis is a health crisis and our biggest hurdle to saving lives is funding. We have a long way to go to close the UN-estimated $366 billion annual funding gap that is needed to build our climate adaptation and resilience. Onward!


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