The Pan American Sanitary Conference is the supreme authority of the Organization and meets every five years to determine its overall policies.
The 29th Pan American Sanitary Conference, held at PAHO/WHO Headquarters in Washington, DC, on September 25-29, 2017, which brought together the Ministers of Health of the Americas to discuss regional health priorities, culminated after a week of discussions with the adoption of a new health agenda for the Americas and a series of strategies and action plans to address the health challenges of the coming years that can be reviewed on this page.
During the Conference, the 2017 edition of Health in the Americas+ was launched, the main PAHO publication published every five years, which analyzes trends, objectives and health conditions in the region and the 2013-2017 Quinquennial Report of the Director was presented.
In addition, Dr. Etienne was re-elected for a second term of five years at the head of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau, the PAHO Secretariat, from February 2018.
Paraguay’s Minister of Health, Antonio Barrios, chaired the Conference and the new Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreeesus, participated for the first time in this regional meeting of health ministers. Dr. Tedros stressed the importance of global health security, the need to achieve universal health for all, and the challenges that must be overcome in the fight against non-communicable diseases.
The Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information (BIREME), a PAHO/WHO Regional Scientific Information Center, was on the agenda with two main themes: (1) institutional development situation; and (2) replacement of the member countries of its Advisory Committee.
About the new institutions of BIREME
Effective since January 2010, BIREME’s new institutional framework defines its governance structure, which establishes the Advisory (CA) and Scientific Committees to serve as advisory bodies to the PAHO/WHO Directorate, in all matters related the Center’s programmatic, managerial and technical cooperation functions.
Article VI of the BIREME Statute, approved by the 49th Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), resolution CD49.R5, established that the CA of BIREME shall be composed of a representative appointed by the Director of PAHO/WHO and another one appointed by the Government of Brazil as permanent members and that the five non-permanent members should be selected and appointed by the Directing Council or the Pan American Sanitary Conference, taking into account geographical representation. It was precisely the 29th Pan American Sanitary Conference the scenario for Panama and Trinidad and Tobago to be replaced by the countries elected El Salvador and Barbados.
The BIREME Advisory Committee is responsible for, among other things, making recommendations to the Director of PAHO on BIREME’s programmatic functions, based on PAHO’s Strategic Plan and the PAHO technical cooperation work plan, as well as the recommendations of the members of the Committee Scientist of BIREME (Article VI, 4 [a]).