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WHO, WIPO, WTO to hold Technical Symposium on Human Health and Climate Change

October 16, 2023

Facing the future: human health and climate change

The World Health Organization (WHO), WIPO and the World Trade Organization (WTO) will hold the 10th Joint Technical Symposium on “Facing the Future: Human health and climate change” on 14 November 2023, at the United Nations Office in Geneva (UNOG). The deadline for registration is 10 November.

The impact of climate change on human health, especially among the world’s most marginalized populations, is a devastating reality that warrants urgent and unified action. The three collaborating organizations aim to assist members in making effective use of public health, trade and intellectual property (IP) tools and policies to mitigate and adapt to climate change and address its impacts on human health.

Objectives of the symposium

  • To explore the interrelatedness of human health and climate change.
  • To improve understanding of existing and emerging priorities and approaches for meeting human health care needs due to the impact of climate change.
  • To explore how the Trilateral Cooperation can support countries to address health challenges arising as a result of climate change.
  • To provide a forum for the exchange of multiple stakeholders’ views.
  • To contribute to the health and trade related events at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 28).

The three Directors-General from the WHO, WIPO and WTO will open the event. They will highlight each organization’s contributions towards mitigating climate change to promote human health; and review lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, including if and how those may be applied to climate change. They will further present how the Trilateral Cooperation can assist members to strengthen the understanding on the intersections between public health, trade and IP and to develop evidence-based approaches to effectively address the health climate nexus. The keynote address will expose the impact of climate change on human health and connect it with actions and discussions taking place at the international level.

The Symposium will have three panel discussions:

  • the first will focus on the impact of climate change on human health;
  • the second panel will discuss challenges and opportunities related to IP and how it can serve as a tool to address climate change and promote improved health outcomes; and,
  • the third panel will explore how trade policy can support managing the impact of climate change and related health risks.

More details are availble in the tentative programme PDF, WIPO GREEN Charter.

Participation in the Symposium is open to the public. Online registration is open until 10 November 2023. In-person attendance at the UNOG (Palais des Nations, Room XVII) is subject to availability of space. A light lunch will be served outside the room. Registered participants without United Nations accreditation must present an official and valid form of identification. The Symposium will be held in English only.