WHO: Sixty-first session of the World Health Assembly Adopts Resolution on Climate Change
24 May 2008: Warning of the potential risks of climate change to human health, the sixty-first World Health Assembly adopted a resolution (WHA61/19) urging member states to take decisive action to address the health impacts of climate change. Climate change was discussed on Thursday, 22 May, when the plenary considered the Executive Board resolution on health and climate change (E122.R4) and a report by the WHO Secretariat.
Over 45 member states called upon WHO to accelerate research, strengthen public health systems, enhance capacity building, coordinate efforts among UN organizations and non-governmental organizations, and ensure effective financial assistance to address climate change and health. Various amendments to the existing resolution were put forward, notably by the Maldives on behalf of the South-East Asia Region, introducing specific actions required on the part of member states. The resolution calls on the health sector to scale up adaptation projects that would limit the impacts of climate change on health; raise global awareness of the impacts of health from climate change at national and international levels; and boost political attention and action. Member states also called on WHO to develop and strengthen the evidence base of the links between climate change and health, and to help developing countries address health impacts from climate change. The sixty-first session of the World Health Assembly took place from 19-24 May 2008, in Geneva, Switzerland. [World Health Assembly resolutions]