The past days has again been extremely eventful. The delegation has great knowledge on the technical discussion that is taking place during the plenaries and side events, that has allowed us to take an active part of the discussions. This is being noticed by the delegates of the assembly, and by that we mean the world health community including minsters, head of directorates and the civil society.
The team with Unni, CJ and Leo in the lead drafted several statements that we intended to read up during the plenaries, unfortunately the agenda has changed so many times that we have managed to only make one statement on Health system strenghtning (Its sent out on the servers). After reading the statement, the team was approached by several delegates who wanted to congratulate the IFMSA for taking a stance on this important issue.
A summary of some of the achievements:
There has been a lot of talk about Non Communicable deases during the assembly, the focus has especially fallen on the upcoming UN high-level summit in New York this September. WHO has had regional meetings in all of the regions to prepare the member states towards the summit. On Wednesday it was a briefieng on what countries had been discussing in the different regions. The team had already prepared an intervention on the same topic and decided to read a statement during the briefing infront of many health leaders. We got a good and long response from the Assistant Director General who appreciated the contribution and the role of the youth.
Maybe a more neglected issue during the assembly is the environmental impact on human health. This is something the Dept. of Public Health and Environment and the government of Mexico trying to something about. In joint efforts, they arranged an important side event by inviting several health leaders to discuss initial strategy towards big conferences like the Rio+20 earth summit and COP 17 in Durban. As you probably know, IFMSA has done some big big things on climate and health. We have attended COPs, actively participated with the youth NGOs and had a LOT of activity within IFMSA. Because of that we have had a very good relation with WHO and we got invited to this side event to make a statement on behalf of students. They actually allocated time for us to speak and have our say. We urged health ministries to have intersectorial approach to this issue and get more involved in the national and international negotiations.
Apart from many such interventions, the third most notable intervention we did was on a briefing about Youth and Health risks. Which the IFMSA also Will read a statement during the plenary when this is issue is raised. More on that later.
Beside attending the plenaries and the side events, the IFMSA officials have had a VERY busy schedule of external meetings. The World Health Assembly I a uniqe place where many of the externals our federasjon is working and collaborating with. You`ll be able to read about that on the report later on.
That’s it for now peeps, tune for more exciting news very soon J
Usman A. Mushtaq and The IFMSAs WHA team