Regional & International Cooperation

76th World Health Assembly commenced in Geneva

by teleSUR

On Sunday, in Geneva, Switzerland, the 76th World Health Assembly (WHA) commenced and, as per a statement by the World Health Organization (WHO), has a primary focus on “saving lives, driving health for all.”

As 2023 marks the 75th anniversary of the WHO, this year’s WHA will determine the organization’s immediate and long-term future. During the WHA, a program budget for the next two years will be established, alongside critical deliberations relating to sustainable financing as well as reforms geared towards advancing WHO’s processes and accountability.

Over the course of the 10-day conference, delegates will deliberate about the vital function of the World Health Organization within the framework of the Global Health Emergency Architecture.

The assembly shall conduct an assessment of the achievements, challenges, and advancements made in the previous year; in addition to outlining the future priorities regarding the key pillars of the WHO’s work: Universal Health Coverage, Emergencies, Promoting Health and Well-being.

In a video speech at the opening ceremony of the assembly, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said, “Peace depends on health, disease in one nation endangers all, achieving the greatest possible health for everyone everywhere relies on cooperation.”

According to Guterres, since the establishment of the WHO 75 years ago, substantial developments have occurred in the field of human health. Notably, the global average life expectancy has increased by over 50 percent, while infant mortality rates have decreased by 60 percent.

He also noted that the eradication of smallpox has been achieved, marking a significant achievement in global health efforts.

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