DATE: Thursday, 12 May, 2022
TIME: 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. EDT
Co-organized by: Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Alliance of Public Health Associations of the Americas (AASPA)
Simultaneous translation will be available in English and Spanish
A healthy planet is essential for the health and well-being of current and future generations.
Climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, rapid urbanization, geopolitical conflicts, demographic changes and growing antimicrobial resistance, among others, are complex and interrelated crises that the world faces, that have negative impacts on human health and well-being and which impact in different ways within and between countries and social groups, generating inequities and putting people at high risk in terms of vulnerability. Too many people still living in poverty and instability.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the inequities in our world but also showed us how joint approaches of all sectors of the government and the involvement of the community in the response were effective and how their sustainability is essential for better health and well-being of communities, societies, and the whole planet, leaving no one behind. This implies the need for a high level commitment to address social determinants of health -including its political, commercial, and environmental dimensions.
The Geneva Charter for Well-being, which builds on the outcomes of the 10th Global Conference on Health Promotion (Geneve, 2021), underlines the urgency of creating sustainable “well-being societies”, committed to achieving equitable health now and for future generations without breaching ecological limits. Well-being requires a whole-of-society approach involving action across all levels, stakeholders and sectors, from communities and within organizations to the regional and national government. It also states that the way forward is to transition to more sustainable, equitable societies and to learn from countries, regions, cities, communities, and cultures – especially indigenous cultures – how to create more sustainable, equitable societies.
A healthier and more equitable planet requires a redistribution of power and resources. It also requires transformative and comprehensive approaches and new societal values as well as changes in structural determinants: long-term investments, well-being budgets, social protection, and legal and fiscal strategies, among others.
The post-pandemic period is an opportunity to move forward to a fair recovery including the elements mentioned afore and considering the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a powerful framework for moving forward.
As a follow-up conversation to this year’s World Health Day theme (“Our Planet, Our Health”), and considering the Geneva Charter for Well-being, this event will focus on the actions that we can take to keep the communities, societies and the planet healthy. Going beyond just the health sector, the engagement of both government and society will be critical to any effective response. Integrating a health promotion approach is key since this approach aims to reinforce intersectoral action, community participation and empowerment at all levels of government. Speakers will discuss priorities for urgent action through country perspectives on how we can create a future world with well-being societies, livable cities, and climate-resilient economies. They will also reflect on how to make health a key element of all the government policies, and on the role of our communities during and beyond these times of crisis, and on how to foster a movement that strengthens community participation and resilience.
Facilitated dialogue with prepared questions followed by audience Q&A
Moderator: Dr. Gerry Eijkemans, PAHO/WHO
Draft agenda and potential speakers:
• Welcome remarks – 3 min.
• Introduction of speakers – 2 min.
• Facilitated dialogue with prepared questions (45 min.):
o Regional perspective: Dr. Daniel Buss, Advisor for Climate Change and Health, PAHO
o Country perspective: Dr. Anulfo Lopez, Executive Director of the Alliance of Public Health Associations of the Americas and representative, Dominican Society of Public Health
o Country perspective: Dr. Jesus Felipe Gonzalez, President, Mexican Society of Public Health
o Country perspective: Dr. Carlos Galvez, President, Panamanian Society of Public Health
o Country perspective: Ms. Katherine Catalano, Deputy Director, APHA Center for Climate, Health and Equity
o Addressing Anti-Microbial Resistance and the key role of the community: Dr Arturo Quizhpe, Director of ReAct Latinamerica
• Audience Q&A – 35 min.
• Closing remarks – 5 min.