Each year the World Health Organization (WHO) holds the World Health Assembly (WHA) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) holds the Pan American Health Organization Directing Council (PAHO DC). Each member country brings a delegation to the assembly to vote on key global health issues. A youth delegate has been attending the WHA with the Canadian delegation for the past 5 years. They have been working with the Government of Canada over the past few years to increase youth participation in this event.
The 74th World Health Assembly will take place in Spring 2021 and the 59th Pan American Health Organization Directing Council will take place in Autumn 2021. These meetings are some of the largest health policy setting events, as it brings together health ministers and health representatives from the 194 World Health Organization (WHO) member states for WHA, and the 35 Member States in the Americas region for the PAHO DC.
The Government of Canada is offering, once more, the opportunity for a Canadian youth to attend the WHA and PAHO DC as part of the Canadian delegation and to observe the workings of these specialized agencies for health of the United Nations.
This opportunity comes from the recognition of the important role that youth play in the world, and the importance of youth participation – “The underlying principle to youth participation in the work of the United Nations is that it leads to better policy and programmatic responses to the problems facing young people today. Not only do youth delegates enrich the debate and policy dialogue, they strengthen existing channels of communication and cooperation between Governments and young people.”
The delegate will be selected by a committee composed of representatives from a number of youth, student, and professional organizations working in global health.
• Be a Canadian citizen and hold a valid Canadian passport;
• Be between 18 and 30 years of age;
• Be able to attend all preparatory meetings and the entirety of the WHA and PAHO DC;
• Be currently a student or a young professional in a field relevant to global health governance, practice, or policy (i.e., international relations, social sciences, anthropology, health policy, health sciences, clinical care, or public health).
• Written application questions (completed in the online form)
• 4-page CV (sent through the online application form)
• Recommendation letter from a professional or academic supervisor (sent via email from reference directly to [email protected])
• Recommendation letter from a peer/colleague/team member/group member (sent via email from reference directly to [email protected])
Applications will be evaluated based on:
• Past experience in and understanding of global health
• Involvement in a global health-related student network or university program or any other relevant experiences and perspectives to offer
• Understanding of global health policy, governance, and diplomacy and the nature of the work at the WHA and PAHO DC
• Quality of application-related documents and recommendation letters
The application deadline is December 23, 2020, at 23:59 EST. Unfortunately, any application received after the deadline, or any incomplete application will not be considered.
Financial support will be available for the selected candidate: participants will need to pay costs upfront, but, accommodations, and a per diem will be reimbursed after the participation. Flights will be arranged in advance (if applicable – of note, the meetings in 2020 were all held virtually). Details will be provided to the selected candidate.
Finally, the selected candidate may also be given the opportunity to participate in other global health policymaking events as members of the Canadian delegation during the year to follow.
For any questions about the application process please contact [email protected]
To review reflections, work, and stories from the 2020 Canadian youth delegate to WHA/PAHO DC, please visit: https://yipeng.ca/journal-entries/
Thank you for considering participating in the WHA and PAHO DC as a member of the Canadian Delegation.
November 25, 2020
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