Working with 194 Member States, across six regions, and from more than 150 offices, WHO staff are united in a shared commitment to achieve better health for everyone, everywhere. Together we strive to combat diseases – communicable diseases like influenza and HIV, and noncommunicable diseases like cancer and heart disease.

Our primary role is to direct and coordinate international health within the United Nations system. Our main areas of work are health systems; health through the life-course; noncommunicable and communicable diseases; preparedness, surveillance and response; and corporate services.

We support countries as they coordinate the efforts of governments and partners – including bi- and multilaterals, funds and foundations, civil society organizations and the private sector. Working together, we attain health objectives by supporting national health policies and strategies.

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WHO commits to develop guidance and support countries to address the negative attitudes and practises towards people with psychosocial, cognitive and intellectual disabilities and to put in place mental health and related polices, plans, laws and services that are compliant with the CRPD. This commitment is in line with the Comprehensive mental health action plan 2013-2020. 

Timeframe and/or implementation plan

  1. Develop guidance for CRPD compliant policy & laws related to mental health
  2. Implement capacity building tools to change negative attitudes & practices towards people with psychosocial, intellectual & cognitive disabilities
  3. Provide best practices for community-based mental health services in line with CRPD
  4. Strengthen dialogue & linkages with national & international DPOs & seek active engagement for all WHO QualityRights resources & actions.

Timeframe: 2018 - 2023.

Theme: Eliminate Stigma and Discrimination
Year: 2018

Join Global Partnership for Assistive Technology
At the Seventy-first World Health Assembly, Member States unanimously passed a resolution to improve access to assistive technology. The Global Cooperation on Assistive Technology (GATE) initiative of WHO has already developed a GATE community consisting of 1084 individual/organization members, including international organizations, donor agencies, professional organizations, academic institutions and user groups. This community and WHO are available for the Global Partnership for Assistive Technology to improve access to high-quality, affordable, assistive products for everyone, everywhere.

Timeframe and/or implementation plan
In partnership; especially with the involvement of user groups including disabled peoples’ organizations, WHO will develop the first Global Report on Access to Assistive Technology in 2021. WHO will submit a global status report on access to assistive technology every four years until 2030. WHO will collect data, develop the training packages, involve in market shaping of priority assistive products and support countries to develop policies and programmes for appropriate sustainable assistive technology service provision.

Theme: Harnessing Technology and Innovation
Year: 2018

Commit resources to support strengthened disability data
In line with the WHO Global disability action plan 2014-2021, which was endorsed by Member States in 2014, and to ensure measurement of progress towards the SDGs and Universal Health Coverage, WHO will:

  • support Member States to integrate the brief Model Disability Survey (MDS) in existing population-based surveys,
  • support Member States to conduct the full version of the MDS,
  • build country capacity to generate and use data to design appropriate policies.

Timeframe and/or implementation plan: As outlined in Objective 3 of the WHO Global disability action plan 2014-2021.     Timeframe: 2018-2021.   

Theme: Data Disaggregation
Year: 2018

WHO commits to include in its humanitarian response measures health-related actions that are required to ensure that both mainstream and specific support are available and accessible to people with disabilities in emergencies. This commitment is in line with the WHO Guidance Note on Disability and Emergency Risk Management for Health. 

Timeframe and/or implementation plan: WHO will work with its offices in countries with humanitarian crises to ensure the inclusion of specific measures for people with disabilities in the country response plans.

Theme: Conflict and Humanitarian Contexts
Year: 2018