The World Medical Association, Inc.

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Meeting: 
Seventy-second World Health Assembly (A72/1)
Agenda Item: 
11.6 Health, environment and climate change
Statement: 

We speak on behalf of the World Medical Association (WMA), which represents 9 million physicians around the world.

We welcome the draft WHO global strategy on health, environment and climate change, in particular the proposal to address the wide spectrum of climate change impacts on health, through cross-sectoral action on determinants of health and a health-in-all-policies approach. We support the recommendation to strengthen the health sector leadership and governance and recommend developing further on ways to equip and educate the health workforce, including physicians, to promote a better environment, address patients’ needs, and transmit health knowledge regarding environmental risks to policy-makers and communities.

We consider that greater emphasis should be placed on the need for health impact assessments of new trade agreements being negotiated in multilateral settings in order to protect, promote and prioritize public health over commercial interests and secure services in the public interest, including those impacting on health and environment.

We would look with appreciation WHO acting as a global role model through the adoption of climate change performance indicators of its own activities, which could inspire the wider UN community.

We hope that the WHO will continue to play its convening role at the UN Climate Action Summit and in the framework of the UN Climate Change negotiations, as its leadership is essential in facilitating a strong health sector engagement and the true representation of health professionals who bear witness to the impacts of climate change in their communities.

The WMA remains committed to addressing social and environmental determinants of health. We look forward to collaborating with WHO on these issues and can be helpful allies in reaching out to the health professional community specifically physicians.