(1) Introduction The World Health Assembly (WHA), the supreme decision and policy-making body of the WHO taking place in Geneva annually, reviews the current attainments and ongoing activities of the WHO, confirms the pressing matters, sets the next objectives, and settles on new tasks. The 2016 WHA held its sixty-ninth session on 23–8 May. Twenty-five resolutions on various public health and hygiene matters were adopted at this session. This report reviews the activities of the WHO that are relevant to the issues of international environmental law and policy directly and indirectly, mainly through examining the related resolutions passed at the sixty-ninth WHA. (2) WHO Reform: Adoption of WHO Engagement with Non-State Actors At the sixty-ninth WHA, the resolution entitled the WHO framework of engagement with non-state actors (FENSA) was adopted (WHA69.10). This framework is intended to be the normative basis of engagement between the WHO and non-state actors with significant roles in the international community for the promotion of global health, such as non-governmental organizations, private sector entities, philanthropic foundations, and academic institutions. In FENSA, the principles of WHO engagement with non-state actors are confirmed (Article 5), as are the benefits (Article 6) and risks (Article 7) of engagement. FENSA will be reviewed continuously in the forthcoming WHAs and is expected to be the basis to improve more cooperative and effective works between the WHO and non-state actors for global public health tasks. (3) Review of International Health Regulations (IHR) 2005 The sixty-ninth WHA also examined and adopted the 2015 annual report on the implementation of IHR 2005 proposed by the WHO secretary-general (WHA69.20). One of the most remarkable points is the response, based on the IHR, to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The review confirms the implementation of the IHR, the legally binding instrument that could be the international pillar to contribute to preventing the spread of disease and international health risks. It also points out the need for constant reviews of the IHR, which should be respected as the primary legal framework to protect countries from the escalation of disease, including pandemics. (4) WHO’s First Self-Made Treaty: The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) (2003) The 2003 WHO FCTC obtained 181 parties by 2016 and has developed into one of the most widely accepted conventions in the current UN system (see the Agenda A69/11). To strengthen the effective implementation of the WHO FCTC, the first international convention made under the WHO’s auspices, it has been kept under regular review by its Conference of the Parties (COP) as well as the WHAs. Also, the sixty-ninth WHA made a decision to invite the COP of the WHO FCTC to subsequent WHAs to provide and share the information to promote the enhancement of the WHO FCTC. (5) WHO Research on Air Pollution Exposure and Health Impact In 2016, the WHO published the report entitled Ambient Air Pollution: A Global Assessment of Exposure and Burden of Disease. The WHO also released the ‘Interactive Air Pollution Maps’ on their website, which could be a helpful visual resource to grasp the latest information on transboundary air pollution (<http://maps.who.int/airpollution>). The data is the latest achievement of WHO research on air pollution and human health and should be respected not only by scientists and medical staff but also by law-makers and citizens. (6) The Walls of National Laws: Breastfeeding The WHO, the United Nations Children’s Fund, and the International Baby Food Action Network jointly published the report entitled Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes: National Implementation of the International Code (<http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/206008/1/9789241565325_eng.pdf>). The report shows the significance of breastfeeding from the viewpoint of children’s health and points out that national laws have been a key factor in making breastfeeding inadequate in many countries. As this report explains, there is a need for proper understanding of breastfeeding and the support for national legislation to be shared among the international community. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com
Yearbook of International Environmental Law – Oxford University Press
Published: Dec 28, 2017
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