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Home > Global Advocacy > Advocacy at the World Health Organization
Using our strategic location in Geneva, at the World Heart Federation we are able to advocate directly to key decision-makers at the World Health Organization (WHO) for improved CVD prevention and control. We work with WHO in a number of ways:
The World Heart Federation Advocacy Team are able to attend a number of regional and global events to advocate for improved CVD prevention and control.
The Executive Board (EB) meetings are held twice annually in January and May/June. During the meeting, Member States debate pressing global health issues and propose draft resolutions to tackle these problems, which are then submitted for consideration by the World Health Assembly.
The World Health Assembly (WHA) is the main decision-making & governing body of the World Health Organization (WHO), where countries – or ‘Member States’ – debate and decide on key global health issues. Taking place in May in Geneva each year, its agenda is largely determined by the WHO Executive Board meetings.
The WHO Regional Committee Meetings offer us an additional advocacy opportunity. Held annually from August-October, these meetings address pressing health issues specific to each of the 6 WHO Regions.
At each of these meetings, the WHF Advocacy Team have the opportunity to make statements during Agenda Items relevant to CVD and NCDs, as well as related topics such as shortages of essential medicines and the health of refugees and migrants.
The WHO Executive Board, World Health Assembly and WHO Regional Committee Meetings also gather important health actors and decision-makers together at a time, presenting valuable opportunities to advocate for improved CVD prevention and control.
In recent WHO regional meetings, the WHF Advocacy Team made the following policy statements during Agenda Items relevant to CVD and NCDs to advocate for improved CVD prevention and control.
WHO EURO region
• EURO – Agenda Item 5(a): Roadmap to Implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
• EURO – Agenda Item 5(d): Strengthening Member State collaboration on improving access to medicines in the WHO European Region
WHO AFRO region
• AFRO – Agenda Item 9: Regional strategy for the management of environmental determinants of health
• AFRO – Agenda Item 12: Reducing health inequities through intersectoral action
• AFRO – Agenda Item 13: Framework for health systems development for UHC in the context of the SDGs
• AFRO – Agenda Item 15: Regional framework for integrating essential NCD services in primary health care
WHO SEARO region
• SEARO – Agenda Item 8.3: Access to medicines
• SEARO – Agenda Item 8.6: Sustainable development goals and progress towards universal health coverage
WHO EMRO region
• EMRO – Agenda Item 2(g): Prevention and Control of NCDS
• EMRO – Agenda Item 3(b): Climate change and health-a framework for action
• EMRO – Agenda Item 3(c): Adolescent health component of the Global Strategy for WCA Health 2016-30
WHO WPFRO region
• WPFRO – Agenda Item 10: Harmful Impact of Food Marketing
• WPFRO – Agenda Item 11: Health Promotion in SDGs
• WPFRO – Agenda Item 16.2: NCDs
Providing a roadmap and policy options to achieve the global 25 by 25 targets
To accelerate the UN’s commitments to address NCDs in 2011, the World Health Organization created a Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs, which lasts from 2013-2020. This document, also known as the ‘GAP’, was written in collaboration with the World Heart Federation and other health stakeholders, and provides countries with a plan of action and menu of policy options to reduce their burden of CVD.
The Global Action Plan (GAP) recognizes that governments have a primary role and responsibility to play in responding to the challenge of NCDs, but require the support of international organizations and other experts. It is structured around a WHO goal of achieving a 25% reduction in premature mortality from NCDs by the year 2025. From this broad NCD goal, the World Heart Federation set its own ambitious global goal of reducing premature death from CVD by 25% by 2025.
Providing a framework to track progress towards the global 25 by 25 targets
To support the GAP, the WHO created the NCD Global Monitoring Framework (GMF) to track progress in preventing and controlling the four major NCDs. The GMF tracks progress on NCDs against the nine voluntary global targets highlighted in the GAP, so is a key tool to hold countries accountable to their UN commitments. The framework is also intended to provide the foundation for advocacy, raising awareness, reinforcing political commitment and promoting global action.
Created in 2014, the WHO Global Coordination Mechanism on NCDs (GCM) was established to support the implementation of the Global Action Plan (GAP) and Global Monitoring Framework (GMF) by coordinating activities, engagement and cross-sector action. Led by Member States, other participants include United Nations organizations, non-governmental organizations and academic institutions.
The World Heart Federation has participated actively in the GAP, GMF and GCM since their inception, both independently and through the NCD Alliance.