1. The development of the Geneva Charter

Moderator: Gerry McCartney and Hope Corbin, Enhanced Well-being Unit, WHO

Organized by the conference editorial group

These sessions will present the draft conference statement and provide the background to how it has been developed and its purpose. The purpose is to invite discussion and comments from conference participants to improve the draft statement and to better reflect the contributions made during the conference. On the last day of the conference the statement will be offered for endorsement by the ensemble and, if so, will be published by the WHO.

2. Expanding health promotion at the sub-national level: a focus on the Regions for Health Network (RHN) and its members

Moderator: Mrs Solvejg Wallyn, Policy Coordinator, International Affairs, Agency for Care and Health, Flanders (Belgium)


  • Dr Bettina Menne, (WHO Euro, RHN coordinator): RHN initiatives in promoting health and well-being. Lessons learnt from region’s responses to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • ANDALUSIA (Spain): Mr Pablo García-Cubillana, Coordinator of the Andalusian Plan for Healthy Living, Regional Ministry of Health and Families of Andalusia (Spain)
  • EU Meus-Rhine Region (Belgium, Netherlands, Germany), Mrs Brigitte van Der Zanden, Director of the euPrevent Foundation
  • NORTH RHINE-WESTPHALIA (Germany):  Dr Odile Mekel (Nordrhein Westphalie, NRW Centre for Health – LZG.NRW)
  • WALES (United Kingdom), Mr Andrew Charles, Deputy Director for Sustainable Futures in Welsh Government

Organized by Regions for Health Network, WHO EURO

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that public health, mental health and well-being should be equally promoted in responding to a crisis, and that they are necessary to reach out to vulnerable groups with an equitable response. RHN would like to seize this momentum and reflect on how to best promote positive outcomes/processes in some RHN regions, moving towards a more equitable society­. Since regions and local authorities have been at the forefront of the response to the pandemic, they have learned first-hand how comprehensive planning and multi-sectoral strategies are necessary to promote healthy environments in their communities. By presenting and discussing a variety of solution-based initiatives undertaken in Regions for Health to promote health and well-being, it is expected that participants acquire new knowledge and understanding about how subnational authorities can play an important role both in the design and implementation of policies in these fields.

3. Shaping Policies and Politics for Well-being and Sustainability 


  • Evelyne de Leeuw, CHETRE; HUE; HPI; IUHPE2022, Sydney, Australia
  • Eric Breton, EHESP, Rennes, France
  • Madalitso Phiri, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Paul Cairney, University of Sterling, Scotland
  • Patrick Harris, CHETRE, Sydney, Australia
  • Katherine Smith, University of Strathclyde, Scotland

Organised by Center for Health Equity Training, Research and Evaluation CHETRE on behalf of the global network of health political scientists

Why is it that the unequal impact of the pandemic is framed in socioeconomic terms in some countries (i.e., it affects the poor, low-income workers, those in the gig economy) while in others the inequality is framed as disadvantaged populations defined more by demographics?

What has the pandemic revealed about structural determinants of health inequality (e.g., in some countries we do not collect data in ways that allow us to even track health inequality arising from an infectious disease outbreak)? There have been vastly differential effects and generally affected the disenfranchised even more (e.g., stay at home orders do not really help folks who have no choice but not seek work; housing issues; etc.). These are politically driven issues. We will aim to present political analyses from different parts of the world and conclude with a unified voice for the relevance and responsiveness of political and policy analysis for health, well-being, equity and sustainability.

4. The triple dividend: Promoting learner's health and well-being in and through education 

Moderator: Anshu Banerjee, Director Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child & Adolescent Health & Ageing, WHO


  • Mr Chris Castle, Chief, Section of Health and Education, Education Sector, UNESCO
  • Ms Kamani Gunaratne, Director, School Health and Nutrition Department, Ministry of Education, Sri Lanka
  • Prof Dr Elena Kjosevska, Head of Department for Health Promotion and Monitoring of Diseases, Institute of Public Health of the Republic of North Macedonia
  • Mr Vinicius Gaby, student, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Dr Susan Sawyer, Director, Centre for Adolescent Health, Royal Children’s Hospital; President of International Association for Adolescent Health
  • Mr Samuel Kolane, Director and Community Health Services Advisor, Ministry of Health and Wellness, Botswa

Organised by UNESCO, UNICEF, WFP and WHO

A strong body of global evidence shows that education and health outcomes are interdependent. Schools have a critical role in protecting and promoting the well-being of 1.9 billion school-aged children and adolescents, their families and their communities. A school that is not health-promoting is no longer acceptable, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and other global challenges that threaten the well-being of learners and their communities. Countries should and can effectively implement, scale-up and sustain their efforts to make every school a health-promoting school. Co-organized by UNESCO, UNICEF, WFP and WHO, this session will debate on effective approaches to promote health, nutrition and well-being in and through education. Education policymakers, youth representatives and researchers from around the world will share concrete examples and innovative strategies to improve education, health, and well-being outcomes through a whole-education approach to health promotion and will review best practices and lessons learned.

5. Collaborating with Indigenous Peoples to address planetary health, human well-being and inequities

Moderator: Dr Viliami Puloka, University of Otago, New Zealand


  • Sione Tu’itahi – Executive Director, Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand
  • Dr Ngaree Blow – Department of Medical Education, University of Melbourne
  • Grant Berghan – Chief Executive, Public Health Association of New Zealand
  • Ms Leanne Eruera – Deputy Executive Director, Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand

Organized by Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand Runanga Whakapiki Ake I Te Hauora o Aotearoa; Department of Medical Education, University of Melbourne, Australia; Public Health Association of New Zealand; and School of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington

The global health promotion community is becoming more aware of Indigenous Peoples and their knowledge, which hold some of the solutions to our global environmental crisis and human well-being.  This session will share lessons learned from engaging with Indigenous Peoples in the Moana/Pacific region on addressing planetary health, human well-being and inequities. The session will also encourage participants to share similar experience in other parts of the world, and discuss challenges, opportunities and issues on engaging with Indigenous Peoples. All speakers are Indigenous from the Pacific region.  The aim is to  enhance  the competence at all levels – from public policy and research, to community development  and re-orienting  health services  - of policy-makers, public institutional leaders, senior researchers and practioners, on how to engage with Indigenous Peoples for win-win outcomes and co-benefits, and for the well-being of all.

6. Reorienting Hospitals and Health Services to well-being, equity, and sustainable development: What has the COVID-19 pandemic revealed as Necessary, Urgent and Innovative health promotion action?

Moderators: Keriin Katsaros. Germany. Research and Innovation Manager, OptiMedis AG. Project Coordinator, International HPH Network and Dr Sally Fawkes. Australia. Senior Academic, La Trobe University. Deputy Chair, Victorian Health Promotion Foundation.


  • Professor Juergen PELIKAN, Austria. Director, WHO-CC Health Promotion in Hospitals and Health Care. Gesundheit Österreich GmbH.
  • Professor Diane LEVIN-ZAMIR, Israel. National Director, Department of Health Education and Promotion, Clalit Health Services. School of Public Health, University of Haifa. Chair, National Council on Health Promotion, Israel Ministry of Health.
  • Dr Ralph HARLID, Sweden. Strategic Advisor in health promoting healthcare in Region Västra Götaland. National Coordinator, Swedish Health Promoting Hospitals and Health Services Network
  • Fiona ARMSTRONG, Australia. Founder and Executive Director, Climate and Health Alliance. Director, Global Climate and Health Alliance

Organised by World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Health Promotion in Hospitals and Health Care 

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into focus the key strengths and weaknesses of healthcare systems and organisations around the world in anticipating, preventing and responding to population health challenges. It has also sharpened collective understanding of societal objectives - well-being, equity, and sustainable development. Countries, sectors and communities have been confronted with what can *actually* be achieved when there is sufficient resolve, and also what the consequences are of inaction and action that fails to consider long-term impacts. Optimising the strategic and everyday contribution of hospitals and health services to well-being, equity, and sustainable development is a complex challenge that may benefit from a health promoting hospitals and health service approach involving whole-of-organisation health promotion innovations and complementary changes at the system level. In this session, country examples of health promotion action will be presented and discussed by panelists, as well as barriers. Actions that are necessary, urgent and innovative will be distilled. 

7. New World Report, October 2022: Action on the Social Determinants of Health for Advancing Equity

Moderator: Dr Sudhvir Singh, Technical Officer, WHO


  • Dr Kumanan Rasanathan, Unit Head, Equity and Health, Dept Social Determinants of Health: World Report and multi-country special initiative, an overview
  • Dr Julia Berenson, Technical Officer, Equity and Health Team: New monitoring framework, measuring and evaluating the evidence
  • Ms Felicity Porritt, Advocacy Consultant, Equity and Health Team: Advocating for a fairer, healthier world for everyone, everywhere

Organized by the Equity Unit, WHO

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have fallen so unequally that the 2008 WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health’s claim that “social injustice is killing on a grand scale” has never been so easily understood. In May 2021 the Member States of WHO, in resolution 74.16 of the 2021 World Health Assembly, requested the Director-General to provide an updated world report. This session provides the first opportunity to discuss the proposed elements that will make up this timely new ‘World Report’, to be published in October 2022.

8. Diabetes health promotion, self management, education and support: where are we now and where can we be by 2030?

Moderator: Dr. Slim Slama, WHO


  • Dr Fatima Al Slail, Director of the Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, and the Director of Cardiovascular Prevention and Control Program in the Ministry of Health, Saudi Arabia
  • James Elliott, WHO GDC team and patient with type 1 diabetes
  • Médecins Sans Frontières: Dr. Helen Bygrave
  • Patient perspective – Thapi Semenya, law student in South Africa, patient with type 1 diabetes

This session will examine the current state and possible future state of diabetes related health promotion, self-management, education, and support from multiple global perspectives. There will be a focus on low- and middle-income country and humanitarian contexts. Participants will become more aware of challenges facing people living with diabetes who are trying to obtain diabetes self-management, education, and support. Participants will become more knowledgeable about what the WHO Global Diabetes Compact is and its goals. Participants will become familiar with existing best practices, especially in low- and middle-income countries.

9. Accelerating Action on Physical Activity for Better Health and Well-being


  • Dr Justin Varney, Director of Public Health, Birmingham City Council, United Kingdom
  • Wei Young Foo, Director of Corporate & Industry Partnerships, Singapore Health Promotion Board
  • Dr Vindya Kumarapeli, Director, Noncommunicable Diseases, Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka
  • Moderator: Dr Fiona Bull, Unit Head, Physical Activity Unit, WHO

Organised by RUN, WHO

Physical activity is a vital component of public policy, a must have component for promoting physical and mental health, preventing disease and achieving health for all and a healthier planet. Yet, global progress has been fragmented, uneven and is too slow to reach the target of 15% more active people by 2030. This forum will discuss WHO’s work on tracking progress on implementation of the policy recommendations outlined in the Global Action Plan on Physical Activity 2018-2030 and hear how to successfully engage multiple sectors and diverse communities to promote and enable more physical activity.  Speakers will share perspectives from working at city and national level, and engaging across sectors, to support more people to be more active, regularly. Country examples will focus on building cross government collaboration to support the least active populations and the use of digital technologies to support behaviour change and link people with opportunities.

10. Driving impact during a crisis: Why the NCD Best Buys are a great investment now and for the future

Moderator:  Andrew Black


  • Adriana Blanco – Head of the Convention Secretariat WHO FCTC
  • Dr Princess Nothemba Simelela – Assistant Director-General, Special Advisor to the Director-General, Strategic Priorities, WHO
  • Dr Bente Mikkelsen – Director, Department of NCDs, WHO
  • Dr Paul Fife – Director for Human Development, NORAD

Organized by WHO & the Convention Secretariat of the WHO FCTC

Noncommunicable diseases have a major impact on health and well-being, and are responsible for around 74% of global deaths every year. These diseases, and the major risk factors that contribute to them (tobacco use, alcohol use, unhealthy diet, and lack of physical activity) also have significant negative economic consequences. Investment and implementation of these measures, including tobacco control, need to be scaled up quickly, in light of the health vulnerabilities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of the session is to 1. launch the report Saving lives, spending less: the case for investing in noncommunicable diseases, which highlights the health and economic impact of investing in the 16 NCD Best Buys, including several tobacco control measures outlined in the WHO FCTC; and 2. to discuss the benefits of investing in the NCD Best Buys for low- and lower-middle income countries, showcase country success stories, and discuss avenues to raise financing to tackle NCDs and tobacco control.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will have the honour of opening the conference with heads of state.

Interpretation available for: FR | ES | ZH | RU | AR


Achievement of health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being is challenged all over the world. Systemic and societal inequities; social unrest and armed conflict; the impacts of climate change, particularly on marginalized populations; and stalled mortality trends have been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, health promotion – enabling people to increase their control over their health in order to improve it – has been compromised. People are increasingly experiencing insecurity and are seeking effective ways to cope with complex, rapid change. COVID-19 has affected all countries and all communities, and governments have acknowledged the challenges and responded. Like other activities, health promotion has had some setbacks during this time but has also seen some inspiring examples of engagement and progress. Several countries, such as Finland and New Zealand, have paved the way by adopting innovative well-being economic frameworks for state budgeting. In this session, participants will discuss the current landscape of health promotion for well-being through the lens of today’s challenges.


To strengthen the role of health promotion in local and national, innovative approaches to sustaining social cohesion and solidarity and collaborative government actions 

Interpretation available for: FR | ES | ZH | RU | AR

Countries are adopting the well-being approach as the basis for state budgeting and agenda-setting to achieve sustainable development. What is the expected impact, and how can more countries be supported in adopting this approach? Objective: To articulate how a change to a well-being economy approach can advance achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and greater health equity. To report practical ways of achieiving a well-being economy, underlining the importance of strong political leadership.

Re-orienting societies and economies towards well-being offers a whole of system, transformative response to the multiple pressing agendas countries and the world are facing. A growing number of countries– at national, regional or local levels – are beginning to adopt a well-being approach. Well-being societies prioritise human and planetary well-being, and inclusive prosperity, over inequitable and unsustainable economic growth. The institutions of a well-being society – such as systems of social protection, the integrity of legal and political processes, respect for human rights, and commitment to social dialogue - provide foundations for all members of current and future generations to thrive within Earth’s planetary boundaries. COVID-19 has shown that countries that have invested in well-coordinated, strong and responsive institutions have generally been better able to navigate the pandemic to the benefit of their populations. This session will identify key dimensions of a well-being society, review the structural challenges and barriers to its achievement, and propose solutions and policy recommendations informed by the perspective of vulnerable population groups. Health promotion’s contribution to achieving well-being societies will be highlighted.

The current generation of adolescents is the largest ever, with 1.2 billion people aged 10–19 years worldwide. By 2030, the target date for achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, the number is projected to have grown by 7%, to nearly 1.3 billion. The COVID-19 pandemic is changing everything for adolescents and youth. They are experiencing transitions that will define their future well-being: completing education, moving into the workforce and forming life partnerships. This session will raise the visibility of youth-led initiatives on well-being and how they can be supported to increase their impact in their communities. 

On 1 December, the special session of the World Health Assembly, acting by consensus, adopted a historic resolution to launch an intergovernmental process to develop a new global accord on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response. In this Deep Dive session, we will be asking the question: “how would a pandemic treaty contribute to well-being?” The session will start with a discussion on the impact of COVID-19 on people’s and societies’ well-being. We will then reflect on the implications of a pandemic treaty for the promotion of health and well-being in public health emergencies and in pandemic preparedness and response. Finally, we will discuss specific interventions to support health promotion and well-being in the context of a pandemic and explore how the topic could be addressed in a pandemic treaty.

1. The development of the Geneva Charter 

Moderator: Gerry McCartney and Hope Corbin, Enhanced Well-being Unit, WHO

Organised by the WHO Conference Editorial Group

These sessions will present the draft conference statement and provide the background to how it has been developed and its purpose. The purpose is to invite discussion and comments from conference participants to improve the draft statement and to better reflect the contributions made during the conference. On the last day of the conference the statement will be offered for endorsement by the ensemble and, if so, will be published by the WHO.

2. Health Excises as Novel Instruments to Improve Health and Well-being: The Case of Sugar Sweetened Beverage Taxes


  • Chris Lane, Non-resident fellow, Center for Global Development
  • Francesco Branca, Director, Department of Nutrition and Food Safety, WHO
  • Patrick Petit, Senior Economist, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF
  • Alan Fuchs, Senior Economist, World Bank
  • Lisa Powell, Distinguished Professor and Director Health Policy and Administration, University of Illinois in Chicago
  • Mario Mansour, Division Chief, Fiscal Affairs, IMF
  • Nandita Murukutla, Vice President, Global Policy and Research Policy Advocacy, Vital Strategies
  • Ruediger Krech, Director, Health Promotion Department, WHO

Organized by the TAX Team (HQ/HEP/HPR/TAX) in collaboration with IMF, WB, Center for Global Development and WHO NFS 

The session will discuss the importance of using excise tax policies in promoting health and well-being, with particular focus on sugar-sweetened beverage taxation as a tool to prevent unhealthy weight gain and non-communicable diseases. It aims to advance the ongoing debate on SSB excises by presenting the latest evidence and discussing practical considerations for the efficient implementation of SSB taxes and other food taxes as an NCD prevention tool.

3. Upstream health action through well-being budgeting: Canadian reflections 

Moderator: Lindsay McLaren (she/her), Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and Associate Professor, University of Calgary, Canada


  • Craig Joyce (he/him), Senior Analyst, Department of Finance Canada
  • Kari Wolanksi (she/her), Director, Department of Finance Canada
  • Kelsey Lucyk (she/her), Manager, Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Paul Kershaw (he/him), Associate Professor, University of British Columbia, Founder of Generation Squeeze Foundation, Canada
  • Val Morrison (she/her), Scientific Advisor, National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy, Canada

Organized by Public Health Agency of Canada

The COVID-19 pandemic has reaffirmed the longstanding public health view that collaborative action across sectors is vital for improving well-being, addressing underlying drivers of health inequities, and for building stronger, fairer, and resilient communities. In this interactive dialogue session, Canadian experts and decision-makers will share concrete examples of and reflections on Canada’s efforts to integrate considerations for health and well-being into decision-making in the context of COVID-19 and beyond.

Key discussion topics include:

The alignment of well-being budgeting approaches with the public health priority of addressing upstream social determinants of health, and the potential of these approaches to advance healthy public policy.

Opportunities, challenges, and synergies for well-being approaches in Canada, within government, provinces and territories, and communities.

Perspectives on the role of public health and the health sector to advance intersectoral collaboration using tools such as well-being budgeting and similar public policy mechanisms.

4. Advancing well-being, equity and sustainable development through the workplace 

 Moderated by Wolf Kirsten, Co-Director


  • Ms Jane Gardner, Head of Health and Well-being Strategy and Foundation Programs, Lendlease, Australia
  • Leonardo Piovesan Mendoca, Integrated Health Managing Physician, Hospital Alemão Oswaldo Cruz, Brazil
  • Ms Lillian Okoth, HR Manager, African Population and Health Research Center, Kenya

Organised by Global Center for Healthy Workplace

The workplace is a key setting for promoting health as the working population spends most of their time at the workplace, wherever it may be. The potential to improve health and well-being is enormous and employers, workers and society in general benefit from the introduction of health promotion at the workplace – a so-called win-win-win situation. The session will demonstrate the value of workplace health promotion by highlighting best practices from three different employers: a medium-sized research center in Kenya, a large hospital in Brazil and a multinational construction company based in Australia. The featured programs have adopted the WHO Healthy Workplace model for action encompassing the physical and psychosocial work environment, personal health resources and the enterprise-community involvement as well as follow a continuous improvement cycle. The award-winning employers will emphasize how this approach is advancing equity as well as advocate sustainable development.

5. Indigenous and Local Approaches to Planetary Health Promotion and Well-being for All

Moderator: Professor Margaret Barry, President of International Union of Health Promotion and Education


  • Dr Trevor Hancock, member of IUHPE Global Working Group on Waiora Planetary Health and Human Well-being
  • Huti Watson, member of IUHPE Global Working Group on Waiora Planetary Health and Human Well-being
  • Prof. Dr. Claudia Meier Magistretti, IUHPE Vice-President for Partnership, Co-chair of the IUHPE Global Working Group on Waiora Planetary Health and Human Well-being and Co-lead of the IUHPE People-Planet-Health project.
  • Dr. Jake Sallaway-Costello, Co-lead of the IUHPE People-Planet-Health project.

Organised by the International Union of Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE)

This workshop demonstrates new understandings and practice of planetary health promotion for all. Dr. Trevor Hancock, Mrs. Huti Watson, Prof. Dr. Claudia Meier Magistretti, and Dr. Jake Sallaway-Costello from the IUHPE Waiora Global Working Group on Planetary Health and Human Well-being and the IUHPE People-Planet-Health project, will encourage delegates to put the well-being of people and the planet at the heart of all decision-making, from the local to the global. This will emphasize the importance of engaging with indigenous worldviews and knowledge, celebrating and learning from these and related perspectives, skills, and values to promote planetary health and human well-being. “Glocal” community initiatives are showcased that develop work relationships between local initiatives of civic society and national as well as WHO policy development and implementation to provide solutions to planetary health -these include aspects like gender, circular economy and coherence.

6. Health literacy: An empowering health promotion strategy to foster equitable population well-being, sustainably and globally

Moderator:  Prof. Diane Levin-Zamir, PhD, MPH, MCHES; Israel; National Director, Dept. of Health Education and Promotion; Clalit Health Services; School of Public Health, University of Haifa; Chair, National Council on Health Promotion, Israel Ministry of Health 


  • Prof. em. Jürgen M. Pelikan, PhD; Austria; University of Vienna; Director, WHO-CC Health Promotion in Hospitals and Health Care at Gesundheit Österreich GmbH; Co-chair research of the WHO Action Network M-POHL
  • Elena T. Carbone, DrPH, RD, LDN, FAND; USA; Professor, Department of Nutrition and Associate Dean for Curriculum and Academic Oversight; University of Massachusetts
  • Kristine Sørensen, PhD; Denmark; Global Health Literacy Academy; Switzerland; President, International Health Literacy Association (IHLA)
  • Prof. Orkan Okan, Dr. phil.; Germany; Technical University Munich; Department of Sport and Health Sciences; Health Literacy

Organized by WHO Action Network on Measuring Population and Organizational Health Literacy (M-POHL) and International Health Literacy Association (IHLA)

Since health literacy was highlighted as a critical determinant of health by the WHO Shanghai Declaration in 2016, the world has changed, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Health literacy skills are critical to manage information and make decisions for health and well-being, especially regarding the challenges of the pandemic. Health literacy empowers individuals, organizations, and societies to make informed judgments about health matters, leads to improved health outcomes and well-being, as well as increased health equity. Various studies in the past several years have confirmed that health literacy is an asset for societal health and well-being and partly mitigates the effects of the ongoing unprecedented global health crisis. In this panel, the speakers will focus on different perspectives of health literacy, present key findings and evidence from recent international studies, and explore how health literacy can be integrated into future health promotion research, practice, and policy.

7. Achieving resilience, equity and sustainability by leaving no one behind 


  • Elizabeth Cherian Paramesh, Vice President of Alliance for Health Promotion, GenevaTrustee, Rotary Environment Foundation International Coordinator, COMHAD, UK (Commonwealth Association for Health and Disability), Bangalore, India
  • Shirin Heidari, President of GENDRO
  • Katerina Firlova, Manager Strategic Partnerships and Operations, Health Nexus
  • Annette Ebbinghaus, Master Sophrologist

Organised by Alliance for Health Promotion

The purpose of the session is to capture the changes necessitated by COVID-19 and how they have impacted the well-being of various populations. This interactive platform will help us better understand the specific needs and challenges of different populations taking the angle of inclusion, equity and empowerment in order to contribute to building a resilient and sustainable society of well-being and leaving no one behind. We aim to explore how connecting different population groups at local level through intergenerational collaboration and applying health promotion tools can boost resilience, equity and sustainable development. The session will be run by youth as moderators and cover topics like: a) Empowering youth to create individual and community preparedness and resilience, Re-visiting gender-specific determinants of health and well-being, b) Challenges and opportunities to achieve better health and well-being for people with disabilities and, c) Connecting generations through Health Promotion to achieve the sustainable health and well-being of communities.

8. Environmental aspects of tobacco 

Moderator: Dr Adriana Blanco Marquizo,  Head of the Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control


  • Thomas Novotny, Professor Emeritus, School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA
  • Andrew Rowell. Director, Tobacco Tactics, University of Bath, UK
  • John Schneider, Chief Executive Officer, Avalon Health Economics, Morristown, NJ, USA
  • Jin Ni, Communications Officer, WHO, Geneva, Switzerland
  • William Maina, Coordinator, WHO AFRO

Organized by No Tobacco Unit, WHO

Tobacco and its environmental impact

Tobacco use is a well-documented threat to global health, and in the area of tobacco control, extensive work has been done to communicate the health risks of tobacco use and to reduce the demand for tobacco through effective policy interventions. What has been less discussed or documented are the environmental health risks of tobacco cultivation, production, distribution, consumption and waste. The harmful impact of the tobacco industry on the environment is vast and growing, and has thus far received relatively little attention from researchers and policy-makers. The environmental consequences of tobacco use move it from being an individual problem to a human problem. It is not just about the lives of tobacco users and those around them, or even those involved in tobacco production. Tobacco can no longer be categorized simply as a health threat – it is a threat to human development as a whole.

9. Commit to quit: empowering tobacco users to quit 

Moderator: Dr Ruediger Krech, Director, Department of Health Promotion, WHO


  • Vinayak Prasad, Unit Head, No Tobacco Unit (TFI), Department of Health Promotion, WHO
  • Richard Ahlfeldt, Managing Director, Rooftop
  • Debbie Rogers, Chief Executive Officer, Praekelt.org
  • Hala Boukerdenna, Coordinator, Noncommunicable Diseases, WHO Country Office in Jordan
  • Judith Prochaska, Professor, Stanford University

Organised by No Tobacco Unit, WHO 

The COVID-19 pandemic has made people more aware about the importance of strengthening comprehensive tobacco cessation services in supporting current tobacco users to quit. In response to the requests from WHO Member States, WHO launched a year-long World No Tobacco Day campaign - “Commit to Quit” in 2021, aiming to encourage 100 million tobacco users to quit through advocacy for national tobacco cessation policy change, supporting countries to improve access to comprehensive tobacco cessation services as well as offering a series of digital tobacco cessation tools at the global level. The purpose of this session is to mobilize governments and the global community, including relevant UN agencies, to address some of the challenges identified during this year-long campaign, and to amplify new and existing evidence-based cessation services. The speakers will share the success, experiences, lessons learned of the “Commit to Quit” campaign with the focus on the digital solutions for tobacco cessation, country-level success stories and the implication of two more tobacco cessation medications added on WHO Model List of Essential Medicines.

10. The power of films and virtual reality for health promotion and education - Panel discussion in synergy with the www.who.int/film-festival 

Moderator: Gilles Reboux, HAFF leader in WHO Department of Communication who will share more about the specific goal of WHO's film festival as a global contribution to health promotion and education, and Lorena Bernal from HAFF team with the participation of Sharon Stone as one of the jurors for the 3rd Health for All Film Festival, WHO Academy, Universities of The Netherlands and Canada and a winner of WHO's film festival


  • Dr Rüdiger Krech, WHO Director for Health Promotion, former juror of the Health for All Film Festival (HAFF).
  • Anita Abada, Producer from Nigeria, winner of our HAFF special prize for health education film in 2021. Anita has created in Nigeria a sensitization program using her short film "Efun" within schools and communities where Female Genital Mutilation is still prevalent. Her team educates the community on FGM and its impact on young girls and women.
  • Joyce Browne from the Netherlands, representative of the Dutch Global Health Film Festival and Utrecht University/UMC Utrecht. She has experience with Dutch students on the usage of our HAFF winning films as health education tools.
  • David Chandross, representing WHO Academy, Serious Game Design Lead and Senior Scholar at Ryerson University of Canada, to speak about courses using interactive Virtual Reality creations and gaming narration as teaching tools for students in the health sector.

The session focuses on how health educational films based on fiction, documentary, virtual reality or animation styles can contribute to a better well-being of populations? As well as a better equity in their access to health care and health information? Whether those films target directly the wide public or are made for health workers and other leaders/advisers in health. This panel discussion will be based on winning films of the Health for All Film Festival (HAFF) and teaching methodology in preparation for the WHO Academy. 


Scope: to present the concept of well-being in various cultures and contexts and draw lessons from ancestral wisdom and values. 

Interpretation available for: FR | ES | ZH | RU | AR

Scope: to learn how city leaders have addressed social and economic disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure a resilient future and built on local assets to support people and families in coping and thriving through innovative thinking, planning and acting.

Interpretation available for: FR | ES | ZH | RU | AR

1. The development of the Geneva Charter 

Moderator: Gerry McCartney and Hope Corbin, Enhanced Well-being Unit, WHO

Organised by the WHO Conference Editorial Group

These sessions will present the draft conference statement and provide the background to how it has been developed and its purpose. The purpose is to invite discussion and comments from conference participants to improve the draft statement and to better reflect the contributions made during the conference. On the last day of the conference the statement will be offered for endorsement by the ensemble and, if so, will be published by the WHO. 

2. Multisectoral collaboration, community engagement and societal dialogue as effective approaches for Urban Governance to improve Health and Well-being

Moderator: Dr Susan Mercadu: Moderator,  Director, Food Systems and Resiliency, Hawaii Public Health Institute, Honolulu, Hawaii


  • Pierre ONGOLO-ZOGO, Director, Centre for Development of Best Practices in Health Yaoundé Central Hospital & University of Yaoundé 1- Cameroon
  • Habiba BEN ROMDHAN, Professor emeritus in public health and epidemiology, Tunis Faculty of Medicine, Tunisia
  • Dr Mustafa SAROAR, Professor& Head Department of Urban & Regional Planning
  • Faculty of Civil Engineering Khulna University of Engineering & Technology (KUET), Khulna


Cities are at the forefront of the COVID-19 response, one of the most significant threats to health in recent history. Cities have learned valuable lessons in governance through COVID-19.  Can these lessons learnt be adapted and applied to other underlying causes of health inequity in urban areas?

At no point other time has the notion of well-being been so important to people living in crowded cities.  With lockdowns and rapidly changing protocols for safety, people have been looking for ways to not just survive or feel healthy – but to optimize family and community relationships in innovative ways that result in a sense of well-being.

In this session, we will listen to representatives from Khulna (Bangladesh); Tunis (Tunisia); and Douala (Cameron) talk about the importance of strategies to overcome siloes and fragmented approaches to governance, apathy and non-engagement and the lack of mechanisms for citizens participation in decision-making.

In this session, we will listen to representatives from Khulna (Bangladesh); Tunis (Tunisia); Mexico (Mexico); Bogota (Colombia) and Douala (Cameron) talk about the importance of strategies to overcome siloes and fragmented approaches to governance, apathy and non-engagement and the lack of mechanisms for citizens participation in decision-making.

Supported by the Switzerland Social Development Fund, these cities will provide insight into how the Urban Governance and Well-Being is helping achieve greater speed in breaking down barriers to social integration as well as ideas on scaling up effective measures for health and well-being through social dialogue, multi-sectoral action and community engagement.

3. Advocacy for health promotion

Moderators: Prof Walter Ricciardi, President, World Federation of Public Health Associations & Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Italy and Dr Lucy Anne Parker, Lecturer, Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche, Spain


  • Professor Dais Gonçalves Rocha, female, University of Brasília and Abrasco's Health Promotion WG, Brazil
  • Assistant Professor Yassen Tcholakov, male, McGill University, Canada
  • Dr Kathryn Ashton, Principal Health Impact Assessment Development Officer, WHO, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre (WHO CC) on Investment for Health and Well-being, Cardiff, UK

Organized by the World Federation of Public Health Associations

This session presents actual practices by different NGOs for the promotion of health and well-being. It aims to highlight the achievements and challenges in advocating for and enabling people to increase their control over health and improvement of health. Three experiences will be discussed. First, the panel will present a case study, led by public health advocates from the UK, about the enabling capacity of the WHO CC’s Guide on Investment for Health and Well-being related to health policymaking and decision-making. Second, the Canadian author of a case study on the integration of health impacts in climate change negotiations will highlight the challenges in finding the right approach for communication with other sectors. Third, health promotion advocates from Brazil will report on the processes of building health promotion policies in two Brazilian states with participation from government officials and non-governmental organizations. From these experiences, it will be possible to better understand the success factors of health promotion advocacy, considering the central role of civil society in moving towards healthy and equitable societies.

4. Gender-transformative leadership in practice: Health systems, gender equity and health worker well-being in a pandemic


  • BM. M.Ed. Sandra Oyarzo Torres, Department of Education in Health Science, University of Chile
  • Shubha Nagesh is a public health physician and a Disability Researcher based in the Himalayan state of India, Uttarakhand
  • Roopa Dhatt, Women in Global Health
  • Annette Kennedy, Women in Global Health

Organised by the Women in Global Health

Women, as 70% of the global health workforce and 90% of nurses, have made an exceptional contribution to health services globally during the COVID-19 pandemic. After nearly two years of surging patient numbers and an increased burden of unpaid work at home, significant numbers of women health workers are experiencing mental trauma and stress. In this session, Women in Global Health will highlight the well-being of women in the health workforce. A panel discussion with women leaders, experts in the health workforce and community engagement, will explore the promotion of well-being amongst women health workers and illustrate gender transformative leadership in practice.

5. Social participation: going the extra mile to design better health & well-being policies


  • Katja Rohrer-Herold, Department of Health Systems Governance and Financing, WHO / HQ
  • Hela ben Mesmia, Advisor in the Office of the Minister of Health; Management unit of the Societal Dialogue for Health, Tunisia
  • Angela Chaudhuri, Health Practice Catalyst Group, India
  • Jean-François Delfraissy, President, National Ethical Consultative Commitee for Life Sciences and Health, France

Organised by WHO/UHL/HGF/HGS

Empowered and educated communities are extremely relevant in achieving health and well-being. Hence, the main objective of this session is to explore the (long-term) benefits of social participation for health policy-making. Particular emphasis will be put on exploring how social participation can potentially change the modus operandi of the health sector and thereby support the attainment of UHC goals. The session will introduce practical guidance for policy-makers to navigate the challenges of convening hard-to-reach population groups, of brokering dialogue when views are polarized, and of addressing socially inherent power imbalances which hinder frank discussion. Thus, this session will emphasize the challenging but critical ‘how-to’ of regular and systematic government engagement with the population, with communities, and with civil society and encourage policy-makers to acknowledge the long-term benefits of social participation. Speakers will discuss the benefits of social participation and present a resource that can be used to create, strengthen, and institutionalize social participation mechanisms for UHC: The Handbook on Social Participation for UHC.

6. Promoting health and well-being in cities during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

Moderator: Dr Evelyne de Leeuw, Director, Healthy Urban Environments Collaboratory; Director, Centre for Health Equity Training, Research and Evaluation


  • Professor Keiko Nakamura, Professor of the Department of Global Health Entrepreneurship, Tokyo Medical and Dental University; Director, WHO Collaborating Centre for Healthy Cities and Urban Policy Research; and Head of AFHC Secretariat
  • Mr Dagur Eggertsson, Mayor of Reykjavik, Iceland
  • HE Dr Abdulaziz Alsarrani, President of Taibah University, Saudi Arabia
  • Mr Sergio Aredondo, President of the Latin American Federation of Municipalities (FLACMA)

Organised by the Healthy Cities Network, WHO

Cities have been at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic and are now transforming to adapt to the “new normal”. In an effort to build back better, cities will have to address equity to ensure no one is left behind. As cities become more important in tackling global public health problems, there are increasing opportunities for learning and cooperation between healthy cities in different regions. The pandemic has also fostered new ways of working within regional healthy cities networks, as well as with other networks working on the local level. This session will bring together healthy cities stakeholders from across the regions to share their experiences and innovations to promote health and well-being in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

7. Eye Health promotion in challenging times


  • Dr Alarcos Cieza, Unit Head, Sensory Functions, Disability and Rehabilitation, WHO
  • Peter Holland, CEO, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness
  • Dr Fatima Kyari, Director, Institute for Medical Research and Training, College of Health Sciences, University of Abuja
  • Dr R Venkatesh, CMO-Aravind Eye Hospital, Pondicherry
  • Jane Barratt, Secretary General, International federation of Ageing, Canada
  • Martine Abel-Williamson, President, World Blind Union and Senior Human Rights Advisor, New Zealand Human Rights Commission

Organized by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB)

Almost everyone on the planet will experience an eye health issue in their lifetime but more than 1 billion people are needlessly living with sight loss. Promoting the importance of healthy vision during COVID-19 presented many challenges. The pandemic resulted in the suspension and disruption of eye care services across the world, with significant complications for older people who were most in need of eye care but also most at risk of COVID-19. A greater time spent indoors and on screens increased the risk of vision impairments, particularly among children. And people living with sight loss faced barriers in obtaining accessible and inclusive health information. These challenges sparked a surge and expansion of innovative solutions to promote healthy vision and reach those most in need. In this session we reflect on the things we got right, and wrong, and how these lessons can be applied across health promotion initiatives.

8. Building coalitions to address alcohol consumption and contribute to improve equity and well-being Alcohol 

Moderator: Vera Costa e Silva, consultant - Center for Studies in Tobacco and Health Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), Brazil and former Head of Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC)


  • Alcohol outlets in disinvested neighbourhoods: reflecting and reinforcing inequality
    Pamela Trangestein, Scientist, Alcohol Research Group -ARG, United States.
  • Gender inequalities and alcohol consumption and policies
    Carol Emslie, Professor, Lead for Substance Use. Department of Nursing and Community Health. Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland.
  • Building a coalition for advancing alcohol taxation to promote health, including health inequalities
    Kristina Sperkova, President, Movendi International, Sweden
  • Building coalitions to facilitate the implementation of policies to address alcohol harms and inequalities
    Thaksaphon (Mek) Thamarangsi, Director, International Health Policy Program -IHPP, Thailand

Organised by the Less Alcohol Unit, Health Promotion Department, WHO

Alcohol consumption exacerbates inequalities. Individuals with lower socioeconomic status are more vulnerable to alcohol harm due to the combined effects of behaviours, exposure to environmental risks and unhealthy settings. Gender inequality intersects with socioeconomic and other inequalities in ways that further aggravate and perpetuate harm related to alcohol consumption.

The implementation of alcohol control policies contributes to reducing inequalities. For instance, town planning ensuring that alcohol outlets are not disproportionately located in disadvantaged areas decrease inequalities. A coalition of partners facilitate advocacy, coordination of initiatives across sectors and contributes to the effective use of resources.

This forum explores how policies that address alcohol consumption implemented through a coalition of partners contribute to well-being by building multi-layered capacity for action.

9. Digital health for health promotion and well-being: challenges and opportunities for next steps forward 

Moderator: Prof Diane Levin-Zamir, Clalit Health Services; School of Public Health, University of Haifa


  • Prof Diane Levin-Zamir, Clalit Health Services; School of Public Health, University of Haifa, Israel
  • Prof Stephan Van Den Broucke, UCLouvain, Belgium
  • Dr Josefin Wangdahl, Uppsala University, Sweden
  • Dr. Enow Awah George, Youth Officer, The Lancet & Financial Times Commission (GHFutures2030), Cameroon
  • Ursula (Yu) Zhao, Technical officer, Strategy and governance unit, Department of Digital health and innovation, WHO

Organised by Clalit Health Services; School of Public Health, University of Haifa; Chair, National Council on Health Promotion, Israel Ministry of Health

Today’s world is experiencing a surge of investment in digital health (DH) innovation, propelled by the current pandemic. Digital resources for health promotion and well-being range from health information on demand, including social media, to apps for promoting individual’s health, organizational use offering synch and non-synched healthcare, and to the macro level using big data for evidence-based decisions about health promotion. DH is relevant for all groups in the life course and is increasingly used for promoting health among special groups such as migrants and refugees. Digital channels enable one of the basic tenets of health promotion:  public participation. Questions arise regarding the role of governance in DL, ensuring digital access to trustworthy/accountable sources, promoting DH literacy, leaving no one behind. In this session a global range of experts will offer recommendations for moving forward in policy, practice and research, maximizing digital health’s contribution to health promotion and well-being.


Humanity’s 21st century challenge is to meet the needs of current and future generations within planetary boundaries. This must ensure that everyone has access to all that is essential for a healthy life, from food and housing to health care and means for public participation, while collectively avoiding overconsumption of Earth’s life-support systems, safeguarding a stable climate, fertile soils and a protective ozone layer. In this time of increasingly rapid change and complexity, it is crucial to understand how best to make timely, effective contributions to achieve the ambitions of the SDGs. Redesigning economies for well-being requires a shift in economic priorities to protection of the planet, promotion of social protection, reduction of inequities, a better work–life balance, high-quality health services and investment in disease prevention, health promotion, cultural activities and better access to high-quality education and life-long learning. In making such changes, the economy will be put at the service of achieving the SDGs rather than being an end in itself. In this session, participants will discuss how the health promotion community can drive and support redesign of economies to prioritize well-being.


To identify the interconnected challenges faced in implementing health promotion and their links to a well-being agenda.

Interpretation available for: FR | ES | ZH | RU | AR

This deep dive will reflect on “mental well-being” as a crucial but often undervalued element of individual and social capital, and will discuss how its formation, promotion and protection can contribute to an economy of well-being as well as to the goals of sustainable development. The session will also debate the challenges in addressing the social determinants of mental health and in promoting well-being from a human rights perspective.

What are the inequities in health between and within countries and among socioeconomic, ethnic, gender and other groups? What has been effective in addressing these challenges? How is addressing health inequities linked to a well-being approach? This session will frame health equity as the foundation of well-being and identify key strategies to reduce health inequities in the context of COVID-19. Participants will review lessons learnt and best practices and share experiences and concrete examples, strategies and innovative ideas for improving health equity. 

WHO defines health as a “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being”, yet existing health measures, including mortality and morbidity measures, often fail to capture the full extent of this definition. This narrow focus on objective measures of physical or mental health can be detrimental to understanding human experiences, but also which policies – including broader socio-economic policies – ultimately matter to health and health equity. This is why measuring well-being is so important for health promotion. This session will highlight how the concept of well-being can help us better understand people’s lived experiences, including health, but also subjective well-being, social connections or happiness. Taking a global perspective, it will explore how a well-being approach can also be helpful to understand how socio-economic and health policies ultimately impact people’s lives, as recent evidence on the link between stalled mortality rates in some high-income countries and broader economic policies have shown us. The session will then further analyse the extent to which an increased focus on well-being measurement and analytics can help us better understand the link between health, well-being, and the social, economic and environmental conditions that affect them, and provide the tools and evidence needed for policy-makers to choose policies that improve well-being. Through a moderated discussion, panelists will explore existing efforts to measure well-being, including the OECD Better Life Index, discuss existing knowledge gaps, and propose recommendations for future analytical work.

Scope: Explore the role of cities in promoting health and well-being, examining challenges faced (particularly in the context of COVID-19) and potential support that can be provided by WHO and other partners.

Purpose: To learn from the experience of cities in addressing challenges to health that were faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, and examine the role of governments, city networks, and WHO in addressing these.


Since the first conference on health promotion in Ottawa 35 years ago, the health promotion community has continued to deepen and broaden its skills, tools, resources and experience to ensure that they are appropriate for improving the health of populations. Today’s challenges, however, require their application in an ever-changing, more complex context. In this session, participants will discuss how the health promotion community can use the tools and resources at its disposal to contribute to well-being in the new context, including to address climate change, environmental health, food security, health inequities and noncommunicable diseases.

Substantial understanding of health promotion and many resources have accrued, which can be applied in the new context. The experience includes:

• health literacy, to empower people to take informed decisions, to counteract misinformation and infodemics and to cope with ever-faster cycles of innovation;

• legal and fiscal tools to design structures to facilitate healthy choices;

• mechanisms for community engagement to ensure that people’s voices are heard;

• settings-based approaches, such as healthy cities and health-promoting schools;

• recognizing and addressing the commercial determinants of health; and

• pursuing health in all policies by collaborative, cross-government action.

In this session, participants will identify health promotion approaches for driving and supporting the redesign of economies to prioritize well-being through initiatives such as societal dialogue, multisectoral collaboration, community engagement and solidarity schemes, taking into consideration health literacy and settings.


To identify how the health promotion community, tools and resources can contribute to well-being in the rapidly changing in the post-pandemic context. 

Interpretation available for: FR | ES | ZH | RU | AR


The Global Council 3 (GC3) of the “SDGs in Action” campaign of the UAE is in its second term, with a robust membership representing diverse areas of health and a draft plan of action. Meetings to advance the plan are held weekly, with a focus on scaling up innovations in health to reach those furthest behind and to ensure that selected innovations are linked to financing, fast-tracking countries towards universal health coverage. These goals are urgent, given the retrograded progress due to the COVID-19 pandemic and persistent inequities in health worldwide. The GC3 agreed that the plan must be rooted in “country needs and priorities”. This panel will provide an opportunity to share the vision and engage country leadership to refine the GC3 plan.


To present the GC3 Plan of Action on scaling-up innovations for resilient health to a group of ministers to elicit their feedback. 

Interpretation available for: FR | ES | ZH | RU | AR

1. The development of the Geneva Charter

Moderator: Gerry McCartney and Hope Corbin, Enhanced Well-being Unit, WHO

Organised by the WHO Conference Editorial Group 

These sessions will present the draft conference statement and provide the background to how it has been developed and its purpose. The purpose is to invite discussion and comments from conference participants to improve the draft statement and to better reflect the contributions made during the conference. On the last day of the conference the statement will be offered for endorsement by the ensemble and, if so, will be published by the WHO. 

2. Walking, cycling and wheeling for wellbeing, health and the environment

Moderator: Francesca Racioppi, Head, BON Centre for Environment & Health, WHO EURO


  • Mark J Nieuwenhuijsen, Research Professor and Director, Barcelona Institute for Global Health
  • National representative, EURO
  • Representative from City of Salvador, Brazil 
  • Brian Moonga, Country Director, World Bicycle Relief

Organized by RUN, WHO

Today, walking and cycling are the most environmentally friendly means of mobility yet many people live in areas where urban design, street standards and road safety provide inadequate infrastructure, poor connectivity and threats to safety for pedestrians and cyclists. These real and perceived risks of injury discourage walking and cycling.  This forum will highlight the multiple benefits for human and planetary health from enabling and promoting more walking and cycling and the intersect with sustainable environmental development.

Panel members will share experiences from working at national and city level and through civil society organizations promoting walking wheeling and cycling, in particular through improving urban design and infrastructure to deliver on improved health, the environment and economy. Come to hear how national governments, cities and communities around the globe can meet their diverse and demanding policy ambitions and contribute directly to achieving the SDGs by prioritizing walking and cycling and more active communities.

3. Ensuring Effective Judicial Protection: Well-being and the Rule of Law

Moderator: Benn McGrady, WHO


  • Professor Paola Iamiceli, University of Trento
  • Safura Abdool Karim, University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Rachel Macleod, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
  • Dr Bernard Mogesa, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights

Organised by WHO, Public Health Law and Policies Unit, Health Promotion Department

Rule of law and effective judicial protection are important contributors to health and well-being. Laws enable government action to reduce health risks, while constraining that action in the name of other interests, such as protection of fundamental rights. In this sense, law can create institutional frameworks that enable governments to address health risks through responses that are proportionate, protective of vulnerable groups and that balance competing interests. The links between law and well-being have become more apparent in the context of government responses to COVID-19. Lessons have been learned regarding emergency powers laws and public health interventions have frequently been challenged before the courts on grounds that they violate fundamental rights or offer insufficient protection for vulnerable groups. This forum will examine lessons learned and launch a new database of case law compiling legal challenges to COVID-19 interventions.

4. Healthy Cities global movement

Organised by the Global Healthy Cities

The session aims to demonstrate that the thriving global Healthy Cities movement in every Region and collectively possesses the experience and the potential to take forward in a systematic and synergistic way a corporate WHO agenda for wellbeing, equity and sustainable development. Moreover, the session is to spread awareness about the potential of Healthy Cities which has a legacy, a tested methodology, political and strategic approaches and a continuously renewed cutting-edge agenda to promote wellbeing, equity, resilience and sustainable development. Healthy Cities was 'born' out of the health promotion and new public health movement in the eighties and continues to be a powerful platform for implementation of WHO's agendas.

5. Nature-based strategies to promote health


  • William Burdick, MD, MSEd, Vice Secretary-General, The Network: Towards Unity for Health


  • Michelle Kondo, PhD, Scientist, USDA Forest Service, US


  • Ione Avila-Palencia, PhD, Research Fellow at Queen’s University Belfast, UK
  • Ndiko Ludidi, PhD, Professor of Biotechnology, University of the Western Cape, South Africa
  • Shazly Savahl, PhD, Associate Professor, University of the Western Cape, Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies of Children, Families and Society, South Africa
  • Matthew Tucker, MLA, Visiting Professor of Landscape Architecture, Thomas Jefferson University, US


  • Veronika Duwel

Organized by The Network: Towards Unity for Health (TUFH)

Interaction with the natural environment is an often underappreciated strategy for wellness with demonstrated benefits for psychological and physical health for all ages, community cohesion, and even physical safety and nutrition.  Panelists discuss urban nature-based strategies to support environmental and social resilience, and promote better public health, safety, and security.  After Michelle Kondo provides a keynote on the effect of greening vacant land on the mental health of community-dwelling adults, Ndiko Ludidi discusses urban agriculture to promote food security, Ione Avila-Palencia reviews the incorporation of greenspace into urban design, Shazly Savahl examines the relation between children’s participation in daily activities, their engagement with family and friends, and subjective well-being, and Matthew Tucker discusses community cohesion as an outcome of greenspace development.  We hope by the end of the session that participants will expand their concept of health promotion and wellness to include design that increases interaction with nature.

6. Health Promoting Universities as settings for health and well-being

Moderator: Prof Stephan van den Broucke, UCLouvain


  • Marc Dooris, University of Central Lancaster (UK)
  • Matt Dolf, University of Britsh Columbia, Canda
  • Monica Suarez-Reyes, Universidad de Santiago de Chile
  • Rajiv Yeravdekar, Symbiosis International University, India

Organised by International Health Promoting Universities & Colleges Network

Universities represent a valuable setting to improve health and well-being, both as “campuses as living laboratories” for their communities, and as agents of change in broader society. To promote the health and well-being of people and planet, a comprehensive settings and “whole university” approach across operations and academia is needed.  Inspired by this approach, the Health Promoting Universities (HPU) initiative was launched in the mid-90s with numerous national and regional networks developing worldwide since. An important milestone was the creation of the international Okanagan Charter for Health Promoting Universities & Colleges in 2015. Uptake is growing, yet as universities across the globe operate in different cultural, economic, political and societal contexts, the implementation of the HPU principles outlined in the Charter can be fundamentally different. This session will look at learnings from implementation in different parts of the world and conditions for successful HPU initiatives.

7. Health equity within the well-being challenge: new concepts, strategies, and actions

Moderator: Davide Ziveri, Ph.D., Environmental Health Specialist, Humanity & Inclusion


  • Joost van Wijchen, senior lecturer health, HAN University of applied Sciences-Netherlands
  • Djenana Jalovcic, EdD, MPA, MSc, associate professor, Department of Health and Functioning, Western Norway University of applied Sciences-Canada (female)
  • Ilona Fricker, UK chartered Physiotherapist, The Center for Victims of Torture- South Africa
  • Isabel Antón Solanas, Department of Physiatrics and Nursing; Faculty of Health Sciences; University of Zaragoza-Spain
  • Alessandra Aresu, PhD Gender & Sexuality, Global Health Director at Humanity & Inclusion NGO-Belgium
  • Maria Nordheim Alme, associate professor, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences-Norway

Organized by Humanity & Inclusion

The debate among academia and international NGOs explores health equity among marginalized or underrepresented populations through intersectionality lens.

  • The first block spotlights those who meet systemic and interlocking barriers in accessing health, namely older adults, persons with disabilities, and trauma-affected populations. The conversation will generate questions: Who are we speaking about when we talk about equity?
  • The second block shows how inclusion and participation are crucial to access health services in humanitarian settings during health emergencies. What should be done to achieve health equity?
  • The third block aims sharing good practices, focusing on a concrete strategy for including health equity in the health workforce curricula: how the global health community can promote and scale up health equity?

Promoting a wider constructive critique of current policies and social processes that limit opportunities for equity and rights of vulnerable populations, this session highlights the importance of inclusion and education in achieving the SDGs.

8. Optimizing brain health for well-being

Moderator: Tarun Dua, WHO


  • Helga Rohra, member of WHO GDO Focus Group of people with lived experience, dementia advocate, Germany
  • Charles Alessi, NHS, Public Health England, UK
  • Kameshwar Prasad, Ranchi Institute of Medical Sciences, India
  • Kirsty Donald, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Organised by the WHO Brain Health Unit

This parallel session will examine how brain health optimization is relevant for the proposed well-being agenda and in what ways individuals, societies and economies can address the social, biological and environmental determinants of brain health in the service of human well-being. This session will also address the proposed shift in focus away from solely disease prevention and treatment for individuals to health creation for all people and the planet, as well as shifting targets from individual behaviour and lifestyle interventions alone to creating equitable social conditions for all.

9. Reducing health inequity and promoting well-being across the NCD agenda: Health literacy development for the prevention and control of NCDs 

Moderator: Dr Guy Fones, Head, Global Coordination Mechanism on NCDs, WHO


  • Opening remarks: Dr Svetlana Akselrod, Director of the Global NCD Platform, WHO; Dr Bente Mikkelson, Director, NCD Department, WHO; Dr Ruediger Krech, Director, Health Promotion Department, WHO and Professor Pascale Quester, Vice Chancellor, Swinburne University of Technology.
  • How health literacy impacts on well-being: Dr Faten Ben Abdelaziz, Health Promotion, WHO
  • Benefits of a globally relevant approach to Health Literacy: Prof Oxana Drapkina, MOH, Russian Federation and Prof Richard Osborne, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia
  • Engaging and serving communities with a Health Literacy Development approach: Dr Stephane Besançon, ONG Santé Diabète, Mali and Prof Sonia Dias, University of Lisbon, Portugal.
  • Meaningful impact on people, organisations, communities, and policy [Facilitated discussion]:
    • Janis Morrissey, Director of Health Promotion, Information & Training, Irish Heart Foundation
    • Prof Wagida Anwar, Ain Shams University, Egypt
    • Catherine Lourey, Mental Health Commissioner, Mental Health Commissioner of NSW, Australia

Organised by WHO GCM/NCD (HQ/DDG/GNP/GCM) and Swinburne University of Technology

In this Session we introduce and launch the WHO Health literacy Development for the prevention and control of NCDs report. This WHO Global Public Health Good sets out how to apply health literacy to progress towards SDG targets and goals. Systematic, country-wide, yet locally relevant health literacy development, is required to boost progress toward health and equity and to ensure Member States’ actions on NCDs and their risk factors is effective for all communities and reaches all peoples without distinction, including groups often left behind. Through its report, the WHO Member State-led Global Experts Working Group on Health Education and Health Literacy for NCDs provides practical solutions to accelerate progress on NCD targets through four integrated volumes:

01 Overview; 
02 Health Literacy: A globally relevant perspective; 
03 Practical actions for health literacy development and responsiveness; 
04 WHO National Health Literacy Demonstration Projects (NHLDPs) case studies.

This session showcases how WHO has invested in the development of health literacy since the commitments contained in the Shanghai Declaration, emanating from the previous Global Conference on Health Promotion.

10. The urban health comic book that initiated change


  • Emmanuelle DOMINIK, SYSANA Director (Swiss NGO)
  • Camille DESPLAND, HESAV Lecturer (Swiss Health College)
  • Emmanuelle Mekui, Teenager

Organized by SYSANA

This presentation is the story of our journey in building a health promotion comic book and in engaging the community. The project has been initiated by the Sysana organisation; groups of citizens and different partners enriched the team!


At the COP26 UN climate conference, WHO and the global health community published a special report on climate change and health, entitled ‘The Health Argument for climate action’. The report provides 10 recommendations for governments on how to maximize the health benefits of tackling climate change in a variety of sectors, such as energy, transport, finance and food systems, in order to avoid the worst health impacts of the climate crisis. As part of the COP26 Health Programme, over 50 countries committed to build climate resilient and low carbon health systems. Countries agreed to take concrete steps towards creating health systems that are resilient to growing climate impacts, while many countries also committed to transform their health systems to be more sustainable and low carbon. Fourteen countries have also set a target date to reach net zero carbon emissions in their health system before 2050. WHO and its partners will be supporting these countries in achieving their commitments in the months and years ahead. These health system commitments could at the same time guide countries towards a healthy and green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and promote health while addressing climate change. 

This session will highlight the current global status of NCD prevention and control and show that countries must accelerate progress to achieve the NCD targets. The session will also showcase tools and country best practices that could accelerate achievement of the NCDs targets. 

This deep dive session will identify key outcomes of the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) and how the health promotion community can work to catalyze action on these outcomes to achieve better health and well-being for all. Expert panelists will explore how emerging tools, initiatives and food system country pathways can foster coordinated, transformative efforts to tackle the underlying drivers of all forms of malnutrition in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and improve the health and well-being of people and planet. The session includes insights from the UNFSS Secretariat, WHO, Consumers International, Act4Good and country experiences from Ghana, Israel and Sweden.

This session will capture the lessons learnt on community participation in the Region of the Americas. 

Interpretation: ES


Building on the previous plenary sessions, participants will identify concrete actions to which the health promotion community, stakeholders and partners will commit in order to advance the well-being agenda and assist countries in building resilient societies with health promotion as a mindset, capacity and community of practice. In this session, a political document will be adopted that reflects the views expressed by the participants and that will facilitate discussion among representatives of civil society organizations (including young people’s and women’s groups) and international agencies.


To reach a clear consensus on the actions recommended after the conference

Interpretation available for: FR | ES | ZH | RU | AR


Advancing a well-being agenda for everyone, everywhere and at all times requires adaptation of health promotion approaches and instruments to present and future public health challenges. COVID-19 has exacerbated social and economic inequities and fragilized public commodities. The world has been rapidly digitalized, which requires adaptation of the health promotion response. A new vision for health promotion is to create the social and economic conditions for everyone to achieve their full potential, even in the most adverse circumstances. The vision is based on recognition of the role of supportive social structures, inclusive governments and a social movement to promote well-being, propagate shared values and respect culture, heritage and history as assets for moving into the future.


To inspire participants to take forward the actions recommended in the political document 

Interpretation available for: FR | ES | ZH | RU | AR