World Health Assembly Adopts Landmark Strategies on Diet and Physical Activity, and Reproductive Health

Bulletin of the World Health Organization, June 2004 | Go to article overview

World Health Assembly Adopts Landmark Strategies on Diet and Physical Activity, and Reproductive Health


The 57th World Health Assembly, which met 17-22 May 2004, has adopted landmark global strategies on diet and physical activity, reproductive health and key resolutions on HIV/ AIDS and road safety.

The WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health was unanimously endorsed by delegates from WHO's 192 Member States, following two years of consultations with stakeholders including Member States, other UN agencies, civil society and nongovernmental organizations and the private sector.

Whilst the non-binding document has only referential value, it is hoped that the strategy will act as an effective tool for sculpting national policies on diet, physical activity and health. "This is a landmark achievement in global public health policy and provides our Member States with a powerful instrument, which will enable them to develop effective and integrated national strategies to reduce the human and socioeconomic costs of non-communicable diseases," said WHO Director-General, Dr LEE Jong-wook.

"Noncommunicable diseases are imposing a growing burden upon low-and middle-income countries, which have limited resources and are still struggling to meet the challenges of existing problems with infectious diseases," said Dr Catherine Le Gales-Camus, Director of WHO's department of Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health.

The Assembly--WHO's supreme decision-making body--also adopted WHO's first strategy on reproductive health, intended to help countries stem the serious repercussions of reproductive and sexual ill-health, which accounts for 20% of the global burden of ill-health for women and 14% for men. …

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