World Health Assembly closes

WHO/Pierre Albouy

Dr Shigeru Omi, President of the World Health Assembly, brings down the gavel to close the Sixty-sixth session

Resolutions on a global action plan for noncommunicable diseases, health in the post-2015 development agenda, neglected tropical diseases, and standardization and interoperability of e-health were approved on the final day of the Sixty-sixth World Health Assembly.

Global action plan for noncommunicable diseases

The World Health Assembly approved a resolution endorsing the WHO global action plan for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) 2013–2020. The action plan comprises a set of actions which, when performed collectively by Member States, United Nations organizations, other international partners and WHO, will set the world on a new course to achieve nine globally agreed targets for NCDs, including a reduction in premature mortality from NCDs of 25% by 2025.

The action plan also contains a monitoring framework, including 25 indicators to track mortality and morbidity; assess progress in addressing risk factors, and evaluate the implementation of national strategies and plans.

From the WHO European Region, the delegation of the Russian Federation expressed strong support for the resolution.

Ethical challenges of people with NCDs and access to health services

Providing access to health services for people with NCDs was the subject of a side event organized by the Ministry of Health of Chile and WHO headquarters.

It was suggested that three different dimensions of fairness should be considered when providing access to health services: equality in coverage, prioritization of the most vulnerable, and prioritization for what gives greatest benefit at low cost.

Discussions covered how poorer countries can ensure scarce resources are invested in ethics, the importance of sensitizing patients, and the need for legal frameworks to ensure that ethical considerations are taken into account. 

Health in the post-2015 global development agenda

The World Health Assembly approved a resolution urging Member States to sustain and accelerate efforts towards the achievement of the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and to ensure that health is central to the post-2015 development agenda. The resolution calls on the Director-General to ensure that WHO consultations on the issue are inclusive and open to all regions, and to advocate for resources to support acceleration of the health-related MDG targets by 2015.

WHO is requested to include discussion of health in the post-2015 development agenda in the 2013 meetings of the WHO regional committees and to present a report to the Sixty-seventh World Health Assembly.

The resolution was co-sponsored by the European Union and Switzerland.