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On 13–15 December 2021, WHO will hold the 10th Global Conference on Health Promotion.


What is health promotion?

Health promotion is the process of enabling people to take control over and improve their health and its determinants. Health promotion is about creating the conditions and conducive environment for healthy choices for all and where people live, work, age and play.

The Conference will address how health promotion can contribute to creating flourishing and well-being societies through health-conscious citizens, community engagement and health-oriented public policies and programmes. 


Why is well-being important?

The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly revealed the danger of not considering health in all policies. 

The aim of a well-being agenda is to create social, health, economic and environmental conditions that improve both individual and collective quality of life and give people and societies a sense of meaning and purpose. A focus on well-being includes ensuring equitable distribution of resources, thriving and sustainability and societies that are resilient, build capacity and are prepared to overcome challenges. 


What are the objectives of the Conference?

The objectives of the conference are to:

  • discuss how to extend health promotion to advance well-being and equity, building on evidence and experience, to foster healthier populations.
  • identify realistic interventions for health promotion and well-being to accelerate progress in achieving the SDGs.
  • emphasize the role of health promotion in public health emergency preparedness and response, and seize opportunities to build healthier, fairer societies.
  • explore innovative health promotion approaches to enable societies and communities to flourish.


What will the Conference achieve?

This Conference will mark the first time that WHO has used well-being as the theme of a major conference. The participants will discuss the contributions that health promotion can make to well-being in the broad areas of people, the planet and prosperity.

At the end of Conference, they will issue a high-level political statement that recommends how governments can use health promotion to advance well-being.  


Who will participate? 

The participants will be high-level local and national policy-makers and advisers from Member States, in health and also other sectors, such as education, environment, employment, agriculture, trade, transport, housing, finance and foreign and development policy. There will also be representatives of United Nations and other intergovernmental organizations, civil society, the private sector, international financial institutions and foundations, the research community and members of national parliaments.  


Why is the Conference necessary?

Climate change, inequities, conflict and stalled mortality trends have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Countries that have prioritized social development – health, education, infrastructure, technology and governance – have been better able to withstand the socioeconomic fall-out from the pandemic. Those that are prepared to put their economies in the service of societal well-being have been better able to mitigate the health, economic and social challenges.  

Many of the challenges the world faces today are rooted in economic and development models that focus almost exclusively on increasing economic growth as a proxy for the progress of humanity. Only recently has serious effort been put into designing policies to counteract the unintended consequences including ecological damage, climate change, social exclusion and disparities in and access to essential public services and commodities.  

Well-being economies are integrative, with production and consumption systems in the broader biosphere. They are also empowering, allowing more direct citizen action and control rather than limiting their role to passive consumers or patients. A well-being economy puts the economy at the service of health, social and ecological outcomes. Societies with well-being economies are resilient, build capacity for action and are prepared to overcome challenges.  

Acknowledging the achievements in health promotion since the first global conference in Ottawa, Canada, in 1986 and shaping an agenda for well-being, equity and sustainable development this conference pave the way for a continuous commitment towards well-being societies for all.