The 74th session of the World Health Assembly (WHA74) commenced on Monday. Being held virtually, it will run till June 1.
The sultanate, represented by the Ministry of Health (MoH), is participating in the event with a delegation headed by H E Dr Ahmed Mohammed al Sa’eedi, Minister of Health, with attendance of the ministry’s undersecretaries and senior officials, in addition to Ambassador Idris al Khanjari, Oman’s permanent representative to United Nations and international organisations based in Geneva.
The sultanate’s statement in the meeting was presented by H E Dr Sa’eedi on the first day of the session where he pointed out that despite the progress that has been made in understanding the pandemic’s nature, its root causes and identifying some measures for its prevention, managing its spread and part of its effects, it was not enough as too many lives are still being lost.
H E Dr Sa’eedi stressed the sultanate’s strong belief in advocating human security and peace through global cooperation. In cooperation with WHO and the UN Secretariat, Oman hosted a meeting last week to call for health security and peace in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. In the meeting, Oman reaffirmed its regional commitment with partners to expand cooperation in health, especially in the context of COVID-19, as a tool for international solidarity, stability and peace.
To emphasise Oman’s effort to support peace and health, the minister further noted in his statement that the sultanate, in cooperation with Switzerland, has submitted a Global Health for Peace Initiative to WHO, which will be discussed in January during the Executive Board Meeting 150, calling on everyone to join it.
H E Dr Sa’eedi added that in June 2020, Oman participated in launching a coalition for universal health protection which seeks a multilateral cooperative approach to protect everyone’s health anywhere and at anytime.
WHA74 will review the report of the Executive Board on its 147th and 148th sessions, and its special session on COVID-19 response, implementation of the Global Strategy for Health of Women, Children and Adolescents (2016-2030), the Health in 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and WHO’s programmes and financial reports for 2020–2021.
The session will review a number of issues, the most important of which are public health emergencies – preparedness and response, mental health prepared- ness for and in response to the pandemic, as well as declarations of the third high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, WHO’s work in health emergencies, and a five-year action plan for health employment and inclusive economic growth (2017–2021).