Demand for Action on World Health Day

Conferences, Media releases, World Congress on Public Health

  •    On public health
  •    On chemical weapons
  •    And a call to Rome in 2020

Today, at the final day of the 15th World Congress on Public Health, delegates from over 83 countries carried by acclamation two Demands for Action.

Demanding that the World’s leaders make the public’s health a priority

  • Improving health outcomes for all
  • Fighting inequity as the primary driver of poor health
  • with political, social, environmental, and economic change across all sectors for better and more sustainable health.

The full text of the Demand is at 

Demanding action on weapons of mass destruction.

Today on World Health Day, The World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) and the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) strongly condemn this week’s gas attack atrocity in Syria, and call for the immediate and total abolition of the use of chemical warfare in violent conflict.

3,000 international delegates gathered this week in Melbourne at the 15th World Congress on Public Health 2017 to discuss public health issues, during which the appalling attacks in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun occurred killing more than 70 civilians, including a number of children.

The suspected chemical used was sarin gas, a potent nerve agent which is undetectable to victims and severely disrupts the nervous system resulting in eye irritation, vomiting, breathing problems, convulsions and potential death, and is therefore classified as a weapon of mass destruction.

Michael Moore, President of WFPHA and CEO of PHAA said, “It is critical that a complete ban on the use of these chemical weapons during violent conflict is enforced in order to prevent further atrocities of this nature from occurring in Syria and other countries”.

“These weapons have the capacity to kill scores of people in a very short amount of time, and they must be prevented at all costs”, Mr Moore said.

The use of chemical weapons in armed conflict is a severe threat to the health and human rights of victims, and is in direct contravention of international treaties prohibiting their use, including the 1925 Geneva Protocol.

The World Congress on Public Health 2017 concludes in Melbourne today, and involved sessions on global security, the use of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons and their impact on public health.

The next Congress will be held in Rome in 2020.