WS 21

ICN publishes report on the 75th World Health Assembly meeting in Geneva, Switzerland

21 July 2022

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) has published its report on this year’s World Health Assembly (WHA) meeting.

The WHA is the supreme decision-making body of WHO and its annual meeting is attended by delegations from all 194 of WHO’s Member States, as well as by representatives of “Non-State Actors” (NSAs) that are in official relations.

The meeting, with the theme ‘Health for Peace, Peace for Health,’ was held in a hybrid format with a limited number of delegates attending in person at the World Health Organization’s (WHO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, between May 22 and May 28.

ICN has been in official relations with WHO since 1948 and continues to work collaboratively with it on many topics and projects of mutual interest.

ICN’s special status with WHO means it can host a delegation to the WHA, attend committee meetings and side events, and contribute to the discussions through written and verbal statements, which are entered into the official record of the meeting. This year’s delegation consisted of 70 nurses from 40 countries, with most delegates attending online.

ICN Chief Executive Officer Howard Catton, who attended the meeting in person, expressed his gratitude to all the delegates for their contributions to the event.

“All of our delegates, the individual nurses, the representatives of National Nursing Associations and our Global Nursing Leadership Institute scholars, contributed very effectively during the WHA meeting. They ensured that nursing had a high profile and a strong presence, helping ICN to consolidate and reinforce our position as the global voice of nursing. ‘Health and peace are inseparable, and it was gratifying to see the WHA take

‘Health for Peace, Peace for Health’ as its theme this year. We established our #nursesforpeace campaign in the first few days after the invasion of Ukraine in February because we know how central nurses are to healthcare delivery and peace. WHA’s theme shows our close alignment with WHO on the necessity to have stability, peace and cohesion as a prerequisite for health.

‘We are still not out of the pandemic, and it would be a tragedy not to learn the lessons that COVID-19 has taught us. We must strengthen our health systems to cope with future pandemics and all the additional health demands that are coming down the track. Throughout the WHA meeting, nurses were putting forward solutions that went right across the global health agenda, and that’s exactly as it should be: nurses advocating nurse-led solutions, because we know that they are efficient and cost-effective, and that they are popular with patients.”

The ICN delegation intervened in a number of WHA agenda items, including on human resources for health, strengthening WHO's preparedness and response to health emergencies, infection prevention and control, the public health dimension of the world drug problem, the Global Health for Peace Initiative, prevention and control of non-communicable diseases and human organ and tissue transplants.

To see the report please click here

Download the communique here