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The World Health Professions Alliance speaks for more than 41 million health professionals worldwide, and is the only alliance which convenes knowledge and experience from the key health professions in more than 130 countries.

WHPA convenes and speaks out at WHA77

WHA77 meeting room wide shot

The WHPA was true to both its convening and advocacy role at this year’s World Health Assembly, bringing together the professions and other stakeholders at two WHPA-organized side events, and delivering hard-hitting statements to the national delegates at the Assembly.

WHPA side events

On Sunday 26 May, the eve of the 77th World Health Assembly, WHPA held a reception to launch its new strategy, calling for the health professions and key stakeholders to work together towards sustainable health workforces and strengthened health systems. The new strategy document will invigorate the WHPA’s role as the only alliance bringing the expertise and concerns of the key health professions to the international stage. The event was also a celebration of the Alliance’s 25th anniversary and an occasion to bring together colleagues and partners from UN agencies, major health and humanitarian NGOs, and other significant stakeholders. 

WHPA was delighted to welcome two high-level speakers from the World Health Organization to its second WHA77 side event, held on 28 May 2024. The evening was part of the growing partnership between WHPA and WHO and focused on the nexus between NCDs and workforce dynamics, particularly important in light of the next High-Level Meeting on NCDs to be held at the UN General Assembly in September 2025.


Addressing the Assembly

In the Assembly itself, WHPA contributed to the high-tension debate on the fate of the negotiations on the new pandemic treaty; negotiations that have been ongoing for 2 years and failed to reach a finalized outcome by the opening of the WHA. Amid heightened press presence, WHPA advocated in its constituency statement for a speedy conclusion of negotiations, while maintaining the protections for the workforce already agreed by member states in the draft treaty text. 

WHPA also brought its combined advocacy power to bear in a statement which unreservedly condemned the ongoing violence targeting healthcare and the misuse of protective emblems in all regions. It called on member states to ensure that the resolution on the WHO’s Global Health and Peace Initiative respected the integrity of health care personnel carrying out their duties under their respective professional codes of ethics, building on the WHPA’s Open Letter. Many thanks to the FIP delegation for delivering this individual statement on behalf of WHPA.

WHPA members were individually actively involved in the Assembly, giving a total of 28 statements on topics including the following: 

  • Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) 
  • Economics and health for all
  • Global Peace and Health Initiative
  • Immunization agenda 2030 
  • Maternal health and child mortality
  • Maternal, infant and young child nutrition
  • Non-communicable diseases (NCDs)
  • Social determinants of health 
  • Universal health coverage (UHC)
  • Well-being and health promotion
  • WHO agreement on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response
  • WHO’s draft fourteenth general programme of work


Global forum for health advocacy

In addition to the statements, WHPA member organizations strategically used the varied opportunities afforded by the largest yearly gathering of health policy makers to advocate for the professions and key policy issues. WMA, ICN and FDI organized or supported side events, such as:
•    "Breaking Barriers, Bridging Worlds" Global Forum on Science, Health and Geopolitics: 28 May; co-organized by STUF, WMA, TMA, FMPAT; World Physiotherapy Vice-President Suh-Fang Jeng presented in two sessions
•    Towards a Global Code of Practice that Promotes the Rights of the Health and Care Workforce: 30 May; co-organized by dpgg, medico international, medicus mundi, PHM, PSI, WEMOS, WMA
•    AMR – Looking Towards UNGA and Beyond: 27 May; co-organized by WMA and the Global Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Development Hub. Participants included representatives from FIP and ICN.
•    Leveraging Patient Organizations as Key Partners in the Delivery of Universal Health Coverage: 27 May; ICN President Pamela Cipriano was a keynote speaker in her role as co-chair of UHC2030
•    ICN Nurse Delegates Luncheon: 29 May
•    WHO Global Oral Health Action Plan Implementation and Surveillance: 28 May; hosted by Ireland, with participation by FDI.

Delegates from WHPA member organizations also made the most of the presence of health stakeholders in Geneva to organize bilateral meetings, for example with Ministers of Health and the leadership of other health NGOs. 


Photo credits

Main photo: WHO / Pierre Albouy

Thumbnail: WHO / Antoine Tardy