Walk the Talk New York: The Health for All Challenge - EU monitor

EU monitor
Monday, June 1, 2020

Walk the Talk New York: The Health for All Challenge

Vrijheidsbeeld in New York
date September 22, 2019
city New York, United States
organisation World Health Organization (WHO) (WHO)

Will you be WALKING THE TALK on 22 September?

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Join us for the first-ever edition of the Walk the Talk: The Health for All Challenge in the United States, being held over 4 miles in New York's beautiful Central Park. This fun run/walk will bring together people from all over the world for a celebration of health, on the eve of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

WHO: The event is free and open to all

WHEN: Sunday 22 September 2019



  • 7 a.m.- 8.30 a.m.: Warm-up activities, music, fun.
  • 8.30 a.m.: Opening ceremony.
  • 9 a.m.: Walk/run starts.
  • 10.45 a.m.: Closing ceremony.

WHERE: Central Park, starting at 102nd Street Transverse

The New York edition is the pinnacle of a series of Walk the Talk events held around the world in 2019. Support us in promoting the idea that everyone should have access to the care they need when they need it.

Aims of the New York Challenge

  • Promote physical activity and healthy lifestyles.
  • Engage the New York community and delegates to the UNGA in a celebration of healthy lifestyles and ensuring all people can access the health services they need, from disease prevention and treatment, to mental health promotion.
  • Raise awareness and profile of the work of WHO, the UN and other global health organizations.
  • Highlight New York's role as the leader in promoting multilateral action and international development, and being a shining example of a healthy city that provides multiple options for people to lead healthy lives.

Key information for participants

  • The event is inclusive and open to people of all ages and abilities, with accessible routes to enable participation of, as many people as possible.
  • Participants should ensure that they are physically healthy and prepared for the various activities being offered during the event that you choose to participate in, ranging from walking or running, to enjoying the activities staged at the start/end point. This is your sole responsibility.
  • Participants should take note of weather forecasts.
  • Drinking water will be available from water stations along the route. Healthy snacks will also be available at the finish. People attending should come prepared with any additional food and drinks they may need.
  • The route will be clearly marked, but participants should approach any of the volunteers on the day with questions.
  • Medical services will be available.
  • By participating in this public event, you consent to your image being taken (through film, photograph, or other media) and used by WHO for publicity and communications purposes.

NYC partners with WHO on 'Walk the Talk'

The World Health Organization is partnering with New York City in presenting the first U.S. version of “Walk the Talk: the Health for All Challenge,” a 4-mile walk/run to be held in Central Park on Sunday morning, 22 September 2019.

“New York is proud to host the United Nations General Assembly and I can’t think of a better way to kick off a week of high-level talks than with a brisk walk through beautiful Central Park,” said Commissioner Penny Abeywardena of the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs.

“Like our international counterparts, New York City believes health care is a right, not a luxury. So I am honored to join the World Health Organization and the UN at Walk the Talk. By bringing people together from all over the world, we can push to the forefront the idea that, regardless of who you are or how much money you have, we all deserve the care we need when we need it.”

Commissioner Abeywardena, who will address participants, leads the City’s global platform for promoting its goals for a more just and accessible society.

New York City first lady Chirlane McCray will also address participants at the walk/talk/jog, which begins at 8:30 a.m. just inside the park’s eastern edge, at Fifth Avenue and 102nd Street.

“We welcome all New Yorkers and visitors to our city to join in celebration of mental health and wellbeing in Central Park,” said First Lady McCray. “The coming together of global leaders is a unique opportunity to make sure mental health is a world priority and embraced in our public conversations. Now is the time for us to elevate the importance of comprehensive health care for ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities.”

The first lady is the founder of ThriveNYC, which is making it easier for all New Yorkers to access mental health services, expanding services in underserved neighborhoods as well as strengthening crisis prevention and response.

The event is intended to focus attention on the High-level meeting on universal health coverage and the Climate Summit, both of which are slated to occur Monday at the United Nations.

Global Citizen Walks the Talk in support of Health for All Challenge

The Global Citizen movement, which is advocating for action to end extreme poverty by 2030, has joined with WHO to support the Walk the Talk: The Health for All Challenge event being held on Sunday 22 September in Central Park, New York City.

"Global Citizen is proud to be a longstanding advocacy partner of the World Health Organization. At the 2018 Global Citizen Festival in NY, Dr. Tedros called on global citizens to take at least 100,000 actions demanding world leaders prioritize health for all,” said Michael Sheldrick, Vice President of Global Policy and Government Affairs for Global Citizen.

“This unstoppable movement of global citizens around the world and the joint efforts taken by our two organizations will ensure that we achieve SDG 3 by 2030 so that where one lives, does not determine whether one lives."

At the Walk the Talk New York event, being held on the eve of the United Nations General Assembly, Global Citizen will be offering people who take part the chance to enter a lottery to win two tickets to see Adam Lambert and Queen, Alicia Keys, Pharrell and more at the annual Global Citizen Festival being held on 28 September in Central Park.

If you are planning to attend the Walk the Talk event on 22 September, please sign up here.

NYC artists to bring art to life at Walk the Talk New York event

Four New York City artists are practicing their craft to build a healthier world. Their work, to be developed and displayed in Central Park on 22 September during the Walk the Talk: The Health for All Challenge, will serve to promote the importance of universal health coverage.

Organized by the UHC 2030 Art for Health Movement, Adina Yoon, Brianna McCord, Kristin “Anjl NYC” Doeblin and Shanice Figeroux Pink will display their co-created artwork at the event, which is being presented by the World Health Organization, the United Nations and the New York City Mayor’s Office for International Affairs. The exhibition portrays “Six Key Asks” calling on political leaders to take action, with communities, to make UHC a reality.

“I believe that healthcare is a basic and fundamental human right in the 21st century,” said Adina Yoon, whose art focuses on shedding light on contemporary social issues. “We need healthy and health-covered citizens to make our world a better place for the present and for our future.”

Kristin said art offers the world a medium to communicate the importance of people having access to health care.

“The Health for All Challenge is a movement that improves our community in ways we probably haven’t even thought of yet,” said Kristin. “By using art we can engage people to create the future health support that we need and deserve.”

Shanice, who has had two kidney transplants, has first-hand experience of the benefits of having access to needed health services.

“Being on dialysis for the last 11 years, I've come to realize how important physical and mental well-being is for people during any medical treatment,” Shanice said. “Comfort improves coping.”

Brianna, who has been affected by food allergies, has placed health at the centre of her art work.

“Every human should have access to health care like everyone should have access to pure air and water,” she said.

Grammy-winning musician, Stomp performers to liven up Walk the Talk New York

Grammy Award winning musician Ricky Kej, an advocate of safe listening, will be performing live with other celebrated musicians during the WHO Walk the Talk New York: The Health for All Challenge event being held in Central Park on the morning of Sunday 22 September.

“I am thrilled to perform at the Walk the Talk New York event,” said Ricky. “The early morning fresh air, optimism for the new day and coming together of so many people will be inspiring and exciting.

“My performance will be dedicated to the Make Listening Safe initiative with my ensemble of extraordinary musicians from around the world.”

Some 1.1 billion young people are at a risk of hearing loss due to prolonged and excessive exposure to loud sounds, even from their personal audio devices.

“The ability to hear well is valuable for everyone. As a musician, having a sound sense of hearing is priceless,” Ricky added.

Ricky will be joined by Grammy nominee and singer-songwriter Lonnie Park, the incredible multi-Instrumentalist Keith “Wildchild” Middletonfrom Broadway group STOMP, and flautist Varijashree Venugopal.

“By coming together with the WHO, we hope to inspire and create awareness about safe hearing, and the importance of health for all,” Ricky said.

Click here for more information about the Walk the Talk New York event and if you plan to attend, please register here.

Leading health advocate Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland to join the WHO Walk the Talk New York event on 22 September

Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Director-General of the World Health Organization, will speak at the Walk the Talk: The Health for All Challenge event, in New York’s Central Park on Sunday, 22 September.

“It is an honour to join WHO and partners from around the world in the Walk the Talk New York event, which I believe will send a powerful message on the importance of health for all and the critical need for partnership to ensure this happens,” Dr Brundtland said.

As a champion for public health and the environment, Dr Brundtland is a founding member of The Elders, an organization founded by Nelson Mandela that works for peace, justice and human rights.

In 1981, Dr Brundtland became the first woman Prime Minister of Norway; she served as WHO’s Director-General from 1998 to 2003.

Her experience includes work to limit the effects of climate change and promote sustainable development and healthy lifestyles. “There can be no real growth without healthy populations. No sustainable development without tackling disease and malnutrition,” she has said.

Through initiatives put forth by Dr Brundtland, people around the world are taking up a call to action on health for all and climate change.

“Walk the Talk: The Health for All Challenge” promotes healthy lifestyles and highlights the need for access to health for all people around the world. During this celebration of health, Brundtland will add her voice to those of others from around the world.

People taking part in the event are invited to assemble at the 102nd Street transverse in Central Park from 7am onwards on Sunday 22 September before the official opening ceremony at 8.30am. Music, warm-ups and a wide range of activities will be part of the celebration for health for all.

EU Health Commissioner taking part in Walk the Talk New York

European Commission Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis will be among the main speakers at the Walk the Talk: The Health for All Challenge event being held in Central Park, New York on Sunday 22 September.

“Two words in this idiom are a perfect fit for the definition of health: ‘walk‘ for physical health and ‘talk’ for mental health,” said Dr Andriukaitis. “I am therefore very pleased to join all those walking the talk in the New York event on 22 September.”

He added: “The European Commission has been a strong supporter of universal health coverage (UHC) and it makes sense for us to support this event.

“I am hopeful that our walk will send a strong message that everyone has the right to health and care.”

Walk the Talk New York provides a healthy kickstart to the United Nations General Assembly high-level week starting on 23 September, the same day as the UN High-level Meeting on UHC.

Click here for more information about the Walk the Talk New York event and if you plan to attend, please register here.


Tom Watkins twatkins@whoun.org

Angelica Spraggins spragginsa@who.int

Paul Garwood garwoodp@who.int


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