Policy and Political Action

Policy & Political Action

World Conference on Social Determinants of Health October 19-21, 2011

Resource Type: 
Political Action

What is It?
The World Health Organization (WHO) is convening a global conference on October 19-21, 2011 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in order to build support for action on social determinants of health. This meeting will bring together Member States of the United Nations and stakeholders to provide a forum on how to take forward the recommendations of the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health (CSDH).

Who Will be Attending?
As of October 12, 2011, 102 Member States have confirmed their attendance at this conference, including over 60 ministers. In addition to ministers from health, foreign affairs, the environment, and other sectors, there will be representatives from civil society organizations, international agencies, and the private sector as well as academics and technical experts.

Who is Missing?
The Government of Canada is currently refusing to send its Minister of Health and/or other senior Cabinet Ministers to this pivotal global meeting. The absence of the Prime Minister and other federal ministers to meet with their peers sends a dangerous message that neither the health of Canadian or global cooperation are priorities for the Government.

What Can I Do?
Tell Canada to “Show Up” for Health - Sign the Petition

What is at Stake at the World Conference on Social Determinants of Health?
Michael Marmot, Chair of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health, explains:

The ambition of the CSDH was to create a global movement for social determinants and health equity. As the global community gathers in Rio de Janeiro in October for the conference on social determinants of health, we are at a crucial juncture. Will the call for social justice and the need to formulate all policies to benefit health equity remain something, at best, honoured in speech alone? Or will the global community recognize that action on social determinants of health is not only vital for health equity but has other highly desirable societal outcomes including social cohesion, reduction of crime and civil unrest, a more educated workforce and the freedom for people to lead lives they have reason to value.

What is the Rio Declaration on Social Determinants of Health?
The conference’s outcome document, the Rio Declaration, will assist in building high-level international backing for the further development and implementation of national policies to address social determinants of health.

Where are Other Conference Related Resources?

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