Monday 18 May and Tuesday 19 May 2020
World Health Assembly

We received the confirmation by the WHO secretariat that all public sessions of this short, “virtual” World Health Assembly will be live webcast. This means that, for following the WHA sessions, no formal registration (in an MMI “delegation”) is required. To avoid an unnecessary bureaucratic effort, we will therefore, for once, not submit a list of MMI delegates to the WHO secretariat.

To access the live webcast of the World Health Assembly on Monday and Tuesday next week, go to the WHA website where you will find, probably starting Sunday, the full documentation  of the World Health Assembly including the “abridged agenda” (here) and the journal (with programme).

As a “non-state actor in official relations”, MMI is allowed to submit a written 300 word statement, but no oral civil society statements will be allowed (more about the modalities here).

MMI statement here: WHA73 – MMI on agenda item 3
Civil society statement collection; here

More about the WHA: here (“Civil society guide to the 73rd World Health Assembly”).
And follow #WHA73 on Twitter.


Civil society meeting on Friday 15 May 2020, 15:00 – 17:30
A World Health Assembly in times of a dual crisis:
Covid-19 and the collapse of multilateralism as we have known it

The civil society meeting on 15 May will allow members of the Geneva Global Health Hub and other civil society colleagues to share their views of the World Health Assembly in the current crisis of multilateralism that is accentuated by the Covid-19 pandemic. The discussion will be structured along two (interrelated) thematic fields: Looking ahead to WHA73: Can the World Health Assembly uphold its status as the most relevant forum to negotiate global public health particularly in a major global health crisis? And looking beyond the World Health Assembly: How successfully is WHO defending and shaping its role as the “leading and coordinating global health authority”? Or is the Covid19 pandemic the last straw for this multilateral institution in the middle of a wider crisis of multilateralism?

A full announcement of this civil society meeting hosted by the Geneva Global Health Hub was already sent to MMI Network members. Register now!

WHA side event on Tuesday, 19 May 2020 , 16:00 – 17:30
Is Space Closing for Civil Society in Global Health?
organized by the Global Health Centre, Graduate Institute

“With restrictions in many countries on nongovernmental organisations, and sweeping new laws coming into play in response to COVID-19, is space closing for civil society, journalists and other whistleblowers in global health? Who will speak for civil society in the COVID-19 response, and what role –if any– will they play in oversight of the billions to be spent? Do civil society activists on the boards of global health agencies act as a force for accountability, or does being at the table with powerful donors, governments and UN agencies limit what they say? Leading international activists and journalists debate these and related questions from national and international perspectives. Co-organised by the Global Health Centre, STOPAIDS and Medicus Mundi International.”

This WHA side event was planned in times when we still thought of a full week World Health Assembly in Geneva, including our own Annual Assembly to take place at the Graduate Institute. We expect the meeting focusing rather on civil society challenges at a national level, where the situation is dire in many countries, and so the contributions by MMI Executive Secretary Thomas Schwarz on civil society struggling with sustaining its inclusion in the WHO governing bodies and processes (see here) might not be the most central one.

  • Website : here
  • Recording: here
  • Input Thomas Schwarz (script): here

Any questions? Feel free to get in touch with us anytime.
Thomas, MMI Secretariat


More information about the Geneva Health Forum: GHF Website