WHO: 9th Global Conference on Health Promotion, Sustainable Development Goals and Good Governance (2016)

Reproduced from: http://www.who.int/healthpromotion/conferences/9gchp/resources/en/

World Health Organization
Published on Nov 21, 2016

The 9th Global conference on health promotion opened on 21 November 2016, placing particular focus on the role of advancing health as part of the United Nations Development Agenda 2030. The Conference’s three main themes werer good governance, healthy cities and health literacy for health promotion.

More information: http://www.who.int/shanghai2016

More information: https://goo.gl/8PbfUc


Adapted from: http://www.who.int/healthpromotion/conferences/9gchp/good-governance/en/

Good governance

Definition and mandate

The breadth and ambition of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the inter-connected nature of the goals, call for national responses that build synergies across sectors. Now, more than ever, there is momentum for ‘whole-of-government’ responses, ensuring greater coordination and coherence of policies.

This approach is based on the rationale that health is determined by multiple factors outside the direct control of the health sector e.g. education, income, and an individual living conditions and that decisions made in other sectors can affect health of individuals and shape patterns of disease distribution and mortality.

Health gains, as well as the realization of health as a fundamental human right and health equity, require that policy making in other sectors routinely consider health outcomes, including benefits, harms, and health related-costs.

Action across sectors for health was the powerful conclusion set forth in the Helsinki Statement on Health in All Policies (2014), the foundation for which was laid over the years by the Alma Ata Declaration on Primary Health Care (1978), the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion (1986), the Rio Political Declaration on the Social Determinants of Health (2011) and numerous other high-level political resolutions and fora. The WHO Framework for Country Action across Sectors for Health and Health Equity1 provides Member States with a guiding framework for realizing intersectoral action for health.

Critically, action across sectors for health and health equity is not just about achieving better health outcomes through securing ‘favours’ from other sectors. Rather, it is about the health sector supporting and collaborating with other sectors to develop and implement policies, programmes and projects in their own remit, in a way that optimizes co-benefits for all sectors involved. The broad and interlinked Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) make this more possible and indeed necessary than ever before, while presenting unique challenges. At the same time, health threats such as Ebola have renewed attention to how weak health systems pose global security threats, and the need to recognize health promotion as a foreign policy and security priority as well.

From Ottawa to Shanghai & the sustainable development agenda

Thirty years ago, the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion recognized the need to enable people to increase control over and to improve their health and well-being by ensuring healthier, sustainable environments where people live, work, study and play. Social justice and equity were highlighted as core foundations for health, and there was agreement that health promotion is not simply the responsibility of the health sector.

Subsequent WHO global health promotion conferences have reiterated these elements as key for health promotion.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the world’s ambitious and universal “plan of action for people, planet and prosperity”, includes 17 Goals, 169 targets and 231 initial indicators. The Agenda offers a new opportunity to involve multiple stakeholders to ensure that all people can fulfil their potential – to live in health and with dignity and equality.

With this in mind, the theme of the 9th Global Conference on Health Promotion, “Health Promotion in the Sustainable Development Goals” is both timely and necessary to ensure policy-coherence and alignment of agendas for action. The slogan: “Health for All and All for Health” captures the commitment to leave no one behind and to involve all actors in a new global partnership to achieve this transformative Agenda.

Health is a precondition for all three dimensions of sustainable development – social, economic and environmental – and action on the social and environmental determinants of health is in turn critical to creating inclusive, equitable, economically productive and healthy societies2.

The mutually reinforcing relationship between health and development makes realizing synergies both desirable and necessary. However, the adoption of truly integrated ‘whole-of-government’ approaches to support action across sectors is yet to be achieved in many countries, owing to a range of challenges described below. Legislation, rules and regulations are important instruments for governments to use in fulfilling their responsibility to prevent disease and promote population health, and to protect people from social, economic and environmental harms that threaten the right to health.

Promoting health in the SDGs. Report on the 9th Global conference for health promotion, Shanghai, China, 21–24 November 2016: all for health, health for all. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2017 (WHO/NMH/PND/17.5). Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.



  1. A68/17. “Contributing to social and economic development: sustainable action across sectors to improve health and health equity (follow-up of the 8th Global Conference on Health Promotion: Report of the Secretariat.” Sixty-eight World Health Assembly, provisional agenda item 14.5, 18 May 2015.
  2. A/RES/66/288. “Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 27 July 2012. The future we want.” UNGA, 11 September 2012.

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