70th session of the WHO World Health Assembly (WHA70)

This page will be updated as information becomes available. 

Scroll down for:

  • About the WHA
  • Webinar including preparations for WHA
  • Official WHO information, schedule and resources
  • NCD Alliance Activities and Events
  • NCD-themed Activities & Events - regularly updated calendar
  • NCD Alliance & Joint Statements
  • Advocacy resources

About the World Health Assembly

The 70th Session of the World Health Organization's (WHO) World Health Assembly (WHA) will take place in Geneva, Switzerland from 22nd to 31st May 2017. The WHA is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States and focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board. The main functions of the World Health Assembly are to determine the policies of the Organization, appoint the Director-General, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed programme budget.

The 2017 WHA will be Dr Margaret Chan's last as Director General of WHO, as she will complete her second term in the position on 30th June 2017. The three candidates considered by the WHA were Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (Ethiopia), Dr David Nabarro (United Kingdom), and Dr Sania Nishtar (Pakistan).

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was elected to take up the role of the next WHO Director General, due to take office on 1st July 2017 (more HERE). 

The prominence of official agenda items and side events reflects increasing priority given to NCDs. Of particular interest to the NCD community will be discusisons and decisions relating to preparations for the 2018 High-Level Meeting on the prevention and control of NCDs, including the update to Appendix 3 of the Global Action Plan on NCDs (previously referred to as 'Best Buys' this is a list of cost-effective policy options for NCDs). 

Webinar: Preparations for WHA70

NCDA's May webinar included details of 70th World Health Assembly, NCD Agenda Items, NCDA and NCD themed side events, and Communications plans. The webinar recording and slides are available HERE


WHO's 70th World Health Assembly (WHA) website including relevant document links. 

WHO WHA Paper on Preparations for the HLM on NCDs in 2018

Provisional Agenda is HERE.

Preliminary Journal (1 May) This preliminary journal gives delegates, representatives and other participants advance indications of the Health Assembly’s tentative programme of work. 

Livestream link will be available here

Week of 22 May
  • Monday: Opening; Address by Dr Chan
  • Tuesday: Voting of the new Director-General (closed session followed by public announcement)
  • Wednesday: Programme & Budget Matters, Health Systems
  • Thursday: Health Systems, Financial Matters
  • Friday: Health Systems, Communicable Diseases
  • Saturday: Communicable and Noncommunicable Diseases
Week of 29 May
  • Monday: NCDs, Promoting Health through the Lifecourse
  • Tuesday/Wednesday: Progress reports, finalization of reports and resolutions
  • Thursday/Friday: 141st session of the WHO Executive Board

NCD Alliance (led & co-hosted) Activities and Events

Civil Society Advocacy Briefing

Join us on Sunday 21st of May, 15:00-17:00 for a civil society briefing. Meet other CSOs, learn about official WHA NCD agenda items and side events, and strategise on priority advocacy messages. NGOs only. Find our more and please RSVP HERE.



Success Factors for NCDs: Pathways to Accelerate Progress

Our event on Monday 22nd of May, 18:00-19:30 will explore success factors and catalytic strategies for implementing NCD prevention policies & building sustainable health systems for NCDs. Moderated by Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet Dr. Richard Horton, ministerial panelists will present good practice spearheaded in countries, followed by discussion with representatives from multilateral institutions and NCD civil society advocates. The event will provide an opportunity to share experiences in overcoming obstacles, and illustrate successful approaches to move from commitment to action. RSVP HERE.


Driving SDG Progress on Health; Learning Cycles towards NCD Care for All 

Cohosted with the Ministries of Health of Kenya and Denmark, PATH, University College London, Astra Zeneca, Novartis Foundation, Novo Nordisk, on Wednesday 24th May, 17:00-19:00. Reducing non-communicable disease (NCD) morbidity and mortality is critical to reaching the goals and targets of the WHO Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs and the SDGs. Meanwhile, many people around the world face multiple barriers to accessing the care they need to manage their condition. This has severe consequences on both a personal and societal level. This event will share some of these lessons learnt and how the evidence generated can inform improved interventions going forward. Register HERE


Fueling Action: Leveraging Policy and Advocacy to Address the Rising Toll of Diabetes in Pregnancy 

This high level event on Wednesday 24th May, 14:30-16:00 and co-hosted by Women Deliver, Deliver For Good, NCD Alliance & Scaling Up Nutrition will explore the critical role of establishing policy and stepping up advocacy to curb the rising rate of diabetes in pregnancy. Though evidence shows a need for intervention, diabetes in pregnancy remains overlooked as an important maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) priority. Diabetes in pregnancy affects 1 in 6 births. If we are to tackle maternal morbidity and mortality in low-and middle-income countries, we must address diabetes in pregnancy. Join esteemed cross-sector panelists and moderator Dr. France Donnay to discuss how advocates and policymakers can fuel action. RSVP HERE


A Call for Action for Lung Health

This event on Thursday 25th of May 12:30-14:00, co-hosted by Forum of International Respiratory Societies, NCD Alliance, Vital Strategies, The Union, International Society for Urban Health, WHO-GARD, will draw together world leaders in respiratory heath, uniting in a call for action to improve lung health globally. A global report will be launched at the event entitled ‘The Global Impact of Respiratory Disease’, describing the toll of illness, disability and death from lung disease; and a global charter for lung health, calling for official recognition of a World Lung Day. RSVP HERE.


  • The Role of the Next Generation in Addressing Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) This event on Thursday 26th May, 18:00-19:30, (Palais des Nations - 1211 Geneva Room IX) will examine the unique role of youth in accelerating the response to NCDs, including through raising peer awareness, via social media, as young professionals, through sport, and by shaping community programmes. It will help to coordinate a youth response and define next steps for collaborative efforts. Cohosted with International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations,  Commonwealth Pharmacists’ Association, The Commonwealth, The Commonwealth Youth Health Network, Commonwealth Youth Sport for Development and Peace Network, Young Professionals’ Chronic Disease Network, RTI International, PLAN International 
  • Governing NCDs. Addressing the Commercial Determinants of Health This event, co-hosted by the Graduate Institute and NCD Alliance on Thursday 25th May, 18:00-20:00, seeks to debate the impact of the commercial determinants on health by bringing together representatives from the private sector, civil society and government to share their experiences and often trailblazing examples of concrete action for NCDsCommercial determinants of health are factors impacting health which stem from the profit-making motive, and while impacting health in various ways, are particularly closely linked to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). More information HERE

NCD-themed Activities & Events - Calendar

Download our comprehensive calendar of NCD related events and activities HERE or by clicking the image.

Please contact us with any sugestions or questions.

Calendar last updated 16th May 2017.



NCD Alliance & Joint Statements

Statements on WHA agenda items will be uploaded to our resources section HERE

Advocacy Resources (Briefing & Infographic)

Advocacy Briefing for WHA70





WHA70 Infographic: No Progress Without Action 
























Overview Document of NCDA Process Priorities for the 2018 UN HLM on NCDs


NCDs across SDGs: A call for an integrated approach