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Minister for Health Care raised important health care issues for the EU at World Health Assembly


The theme of this year’s World Health Assembly (WHA) was the World Health Organization (WHO) at 75 and the work it does. Representing the EU and its Member States, Minister for Health Care Acko Ankarberg Johansson took part on the first two days (21–22 May).

  • Ten women and men gathered for a photo session

    A few of the health ministers gathered. Swedish Minister for Health Care Acko Ankarberg Johansson in the center.

    Photo: Sofia Ireståhl/The Government Offices of Sweden

  • Photo: Sofia Ireståhl/The Government Offices of Sweden

  • About one hundred men and women gathered on stairs in front of monumental building.

    All the the health ministers gathered ahead of the opening of the WHA.

    Photo: Sofia Ireståhl/The Government Offices of Sweden

This year’s World Health Assembly is being held in Geneva, Switzerland, on 21–30 May. Ms Ankarberg Johansson was invited, as the representative of the EU and the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, to deliver the EU Statement on Monday morning. In her speech, she stressed the progress being made in the area of health but also the global challenges being faced in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ms Ankarberg Johansson also highlighted the need for global cooperation, solidarity and action to tackle the problems we face and the EU’s important work to establish a pandemic treaty:

 “WHO has a central role to play to deliver on the SDGs, to provide leadership, knowledge, advice, and technical support to all countries. It is crucial to foster inclusive collaboration between international actors and to counteract fragmentation across the global health architecture also beyond the emergency agenda, leaving no region of the world behind,” said Ms Ankarberg Johansson. 

The World Health Assembly has a wide-ranging agenda covering some 70 items. In addition to participating in the programme, Ms Ankarberg Johansson held bilateral meetings with Kazakhstan’s Minister of Healthcare, Azhar Giniyat, Singapore’s Minister for Health, Ong Ye Kung, and WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Ms Ankarberg Johansson also took part in a number of smaller meetings at which issues such as a future pandemic treaty, antimicrobial resistance and the health situation in Ukraine were discussed.

The World Health Assembly, WHA

The World Health Organization (WHO) is the UN specialised agency for health issues tasked with directing and coordinating international health efforts and supporting the Member States’ governments in implementing the best possible health and medical care policy and acting as the coordinating authority on international health. The World Health Assembly (WHA) is the decision-making body of WHO and is held annually in May. WHA comprises representatives from all 194 Member States and has the mandate to approve the proposed WHO programme budget. This year's World Health Assembly is being held in Geneva, Switzerland, on 21–30 May.

The delegations are normally led by the Member States’ health ministers and usually also comprise other representatives, such as officials and experts. Sweden is normally represented by ministers, representatives of the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Directors-General of the National Board of Health and Welfare and the Public Health Agency of Sweden, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, the Swedish Association of Health Professionals and the Swedish Medical Association.