WHO RC Meetings 2022: PAHO, EMRO & WPRO | World Obesity Federation

WHO RC Meetings 2022: PAHO, EMRO & WPRO

NewsWHO RC Meetings 2022: PAHO, EMRO & WPRO

The Regional Committee meetings of WHO for 2022 have now concluded.  The latest sessions scrutinised progress on political committments and agreed new actions to improve health outcomes and conditions across the regions.

In a recent article, we reported feedback on AFRO, SEARO and EURO held in August and early September.  In late September and October, the final three meetings were held for PAHO, EMRO and WPRO.  This concludes the regional meetings for 2022.

AFRO (Africa)

22 - 26 August

Lomé, Togo

SEARO (South-east Asia)

5 - 9 September

Paro, Bhutan

EURO (Europe)

12 - 14 September

Tel Aviv, Israel (and virtual)

PAHO (Americas)

26 - 30 September

Washington D.C

EMRO (Eastern Mediterranean)

10 - 13 October

Cairo, Egypt

WPRO (Western Pacific)

24 - 28 October

Manila, Philippines


World Obesity contributed to proceedings through written statements submitted on agenda items relevant to NCD prevention and action on obesity.  Find below some of the highlights and key decisions from the meetings.

PAHO - 74th Session of the Regional Committee of WHO for the Americas

The Pan American Health Organization’s (PAHO) 30th Pan American Sanitary Conference in Washington D.C. comprised a week of discussions by Ministers of Health and other delegates (civil society, NGOs, academia) on health priorities in the region.  The conference approved 13 resolutions, including a commitment to recover equitable progress toward the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and a strategy to keep the Americas free of polio.

PAHO RC74 Meeting

As the conference opened, WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, repeated the WHO’s priorities to drive progress towards the Triple Billion Targets and SDGs.  Dr Tedros also affirmed the importance of strengthening PAHO country offices by expanding each of their capacities.

During the event, Dr Jarbas Barbosa da Silva Jr was elected as the new Regional Director and will begin his five-year term on 1 February 2023, succeeding Dr Carissa F Etienne of Dominica, who has led PAHO since 2012.

During the outgoing Regional Director’s opening remarks, Dr Etienne highlighted efforts to reduce obesity in the PAHO region.  Fifteen countries have now imposed taxes on sugary beverages, nine have introduced nutrition and front-of-package labelling, and action has been taken to improve school-based meals.

Some of the wider pledges and commitments made during the PAHO conference include:

  • Ministries of Health recommitted to advancing progress on the 17 SDGs, especially with regards to SG3 relating to Universal Health Coverage.
  • The Quinquennial Report of the Director focussed on ensuring that equity in health remains at the forefront of efforts to meet the targets of the 17 SDGs. This refers to effective integration of actions to promote equity, and to ensure a fair recovery from the pandemic.
  • The 2022 ‘Health in the Americas’ publication highlighted COVID-19’s impact on populations in the PAHO region, and underlined a drop in life expectancies.
  • A new ‘Policy on Integrated Care for Improved Health Outcomes’ was adopted to address the fragmentation of health systems, “a problem that affects the organization, management, and delivery of care in almost the entire Region'.
  • Further pledges were made on the development and implementation of a targeted polio mitigation plan, strengthened regulatory systems for medicines and other health technologies, and the consolidation of a regional genomic surveillance network.

For more information on the PAHO Regional Meeting, click here.

To read the complete final statement from the new PAHO Regional Director, click here.

EMRO - 69th Session of the Regional Committee of WHO for the Eastern Mediterranean

The 69th Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean Region took place between 10-13 October in Cairo, and had Ministers of Health and representatives of Member States of the region meet in person for the first time since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The overarching theme of EMRO RC69 was: 'Reaching the Sustainable Development Goals in the post-COVID-19 age: Accelerating universal health coverage and health security – Health for All by All'. 


Opening remarks from Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari highlighted the most pressing health situations impacting EMRO populations, including multiple conflicts, food insecurity in the Horn of Africa, floods in Pakistan, gaps in COVID-19 vaccination, and a cholera outbreak in the Syrian Arab Republic.

Sessions included discussion panels on partnerships aimed at improving healthcare, commitments to polio eradication, the use of digital innovation, the Healthy Cities programme and coordinating country-level joint action towards the acceleration of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Member States were also urged to fulfil their commitments under Vision 2023 - Health for All by All, to implement the cervical cancer elimination strategy, ensure inclusivity of health access for refugees and migrants, update national strategies on HIV, hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections, and to accelerate their implementation towards achieving the 2030 targets.

We used the opportunity to comment on Report Number (c).

Our Statement commented on Report Number (c): Promoting health and well-being in the Eastern Mediterranean Region: moving from theory to action to achieve the health-related Sustainable Development Goals’ 

This report provides updates on the progress made towards the SDGs. In our statement, we encouraged EMRO countries to act on the threat of obesity to health systems, and recognise how tackling the issue can aid SDG attainment.  The report underlines the important point that health is “a fundamental human right, and that the attainment of the highest possible level of health is the most important social goal worldwide”.

The report requested the Regional Director to conduct interdisciplinary research and develop measurement frameworks to monitor progress on SDG targets and propose a regional road map to guide Member States in the implementation of the well-being agenda in the EMRO region.

The session’s resolutions have set out a robust plan for upcoming work in the region that we will contribute our full support to, in the push for enhanced health in these communities.

For more information on the EMRO RC69 session, please click here.

WPRO – 74th Session of the Regional Committee of WHO for the Western Pacific

The 73rd session of the Western Pacific WHO region took place from 24-28 October in Manila, Philippines.  

Five priorities were laid out by the region’s director as the event began, these were five ‘Ps’. Promoting, protecting, providing, powering and performing for health.  Among the items on the session agenda were NCD disease prevention and control, COVID-19 vaccination, antimicrobial resistance, prevention and control of cervical cancer, and steps to strengthen health security architecture.

We contributed a statement to proceedings, welcoming the new ‘Regional Action Framework for Non-communicable Disease Prevention and Control in the Western Pacific’. In the publication, Member States are called upon to ‘reorient the health delivery system into a people-centred health system that prevents ill health and accompanies people through the life course, and accelerate the implementation of evidence-based and cost-effective policy interventions’.

Our statement reaffirms that obesity is also an important NCD, and failure to address it will jeopardise action on other NCDs and associated targets. We also recommended the integration of frameworks centred on obesity contained in the WHO’s recommendations on obesity and Acceleration Plan to aid WPRO’s framework on NCDs.

For more information on the WPRO RC74 session, please click here.

We would like to thank all members who have joined our delegation at the various meetings this year.  For any queries related to our policy activities and how you can get involved, please contact advocacy@worldobesity.org.

Related Resources

View all

Statements Oct 13, 22

Statement to the 69th Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean

Report Number (c): Promoting health and well-being in the Eastern Mediterranean Region

View Resource

Statements Oct 13, 22

Statement to the 75th Regional Committee for the Western Pacific

Agenda Item 12. Noncommunicable disease prevention and control

View Resource