The 223rd WMA Council meeting was held in Nairobi, Kenya (April 20-22) and was attended by around 200 delegates from almost 40 national medical associations. The meeting agreed on a number of policies which will be forwarded to the WMA’s General Assembly in Kigali, Rwanda for adoption in October:
Human Rights Violations against the Uyghurs
After a lengthy debate, the Council adopted the following resolution:
‘In light of the mounting body of evidence, including the report of 31 August 2022 from the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, of medical involvement in severe human rights violations against the Uyghur people and other minorities in China, the WMA asks the Chinese Medical Association to acknowledge the concerns set out in the report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and comply with the 2020 WMA Resolution on human rights violations against Uyghur People in China’.
Electronic Cigarettes and other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems
The Council decided to recommend to the General Assembly that WMA policy on electronic cigarettes should be strengthened to highlight the harmful effects of e-cigarettes and electronic nicotine delivery systems, especially for children, adolescents and young adults.
Primary Health Care
A Statement on primary care was agreed, recommending ways in which primary health care can be strengthened to ensure adequate financial resources and equipment provision and a well-trained supply of primary care physicians.
Times of Armed Conflict and Other Situations of Violence
The Council agreed to revise its policy on ethical issues during times of armed conflict, condemning the military targeting of health care facilities and personnel as well as using the denial of medical services as a weapon of war, by any party, wherever and whenever it occurs.
Other issues discussed include policies on forced sterilization, medical technology and public health emergencies.
Professor Jungyul Park, Vice President of the Korean Medical Association, was elected Chair of Council.
Dr. Tohru Kakuta (Japan) was re-elected Vice Chair of Council.
Mr. Rudolf Henke (Germany), was elected Treasurer.
Dr. Jack Resneck, President of the American Medical Association, was elected Chair of the Finance and Planning Committee.
Dr. Steinunn Þórðardóttir, President of the Icelandic Medical Association, was elected Chair of the Medical Ethics Committee.
Dr. Zion Hagay (Israeli Medical Association) was elected Chair of the Socio-Medical Affairs Committee.
The WMA’s next Council meeting and annual General Assembly will be held in Kigali, Rwanda from October 4-7.