In 2012, Dr Ala Alwan identified 5 strategic priorities for WHO’s work with Member States, to be undertaken over the course of his 5-year term as WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean. These strategic priorities, subsequently endorsed by the WHO Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean at its 59th session, were: health system strengthening, maternal and child health, prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases, health security and the unfinished agenda of communicable diseases, and emergency preparedness and response. This document highlights the major achievements over the past 5 years for each of the 5 priorities, as well as other key initiatives. What needs to be done for the advancement of public health in the Region and beyond is evident. The way forward is clear.