The Night of Geneva Museums attracted more than 7000 visitors

The health world is in Geneva to prepare for the next pandemic and to warn about the impact of the war in Ukraine. At the opening of the World Health Assembly on Sunday, Federal Councilor Alain Berset called for access to medical care to be protected in conflicts.

“Health for Peace” is the focus of the first face-to-face meeting of the 194 member states of the World Health Organization (WHO) since the pandemic began. Even though there have been hundreds of attacks on health centers in Ukraine.

Several heads of state and government and around 120 ministers will attend the meeting. Before them, the head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA) denounced “unacceptable actions” against civilians that violate international humanitarian law (IHL).

And to urge all states and parties to the conflict to abide by the rules by protecting the wounded, the sick and medical workers. French President Emmanuel Macron praised the WHO’s role for civilians in the face of the “devastating consequences” of the war in Ukraine.

As a target of a recently adopted WHO resolution for Europe, Russia remains a member and attends the conference. At this point in time, no request for suspension appears in the draft resolution which will condemn the situation in Ukraine and which the French President has asked for support.

Decision on a Swiss initiative

For its part, Switzerland is doing more to promote health and peace. For several years, Bern and Oman have launched an initiative to make health an important building block for peace in emerging conflicts or post-conflict times. This will be decided at the general meeting.

In addition to the war in Ukraine, strengthening global health in preparation for the next pandemics will be discussed in detail until next Saturday in Geneva. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted that the number of new Covid cases is increasing in almost 70 countries. “We still cannot predict the intensity of the pandemic,” he added, urging governments to be ready to reintroduce restrictions.

“Global health continues to face challenges like never before,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. For Switzerland, the organization must remain “the center of global health governance”. And even that its role will be expanded.

The WHO had been criticized in particular by several key players for its response to the arrival of the coronavirus. It “needs global support and investment,” Mr Guterres also said.

Sanitary facilities under discussion

An intergovernmental negotiating group, of which Switzerland is a member, was set up in December with a view to reaching an international agreement in the face of pandemics. At the moment only organizational questions were discussed. The agreement is expected to be finalized in 2024.

The World Health Assembly must consider further efforts to revise the International Health Regulations. This is part of the response to public health emergencies, but has been widely sought since the arrival of the coronavirus.

Mr. Berset reminded that Switzerland supports both of these approaches. For Bern, a future agreement should not replace the regulation. The first, according to Switzerland, must be more broadly focused on issues such as vaccine sharing, while the second must focus more on health security.

In the meantime, a Standing Emergency Committee for the Executive Board must be approved during the Assembly, which can be activated within 24 hours in the event of an international health emergency. Mr. Macron launched a lively support for this device.

Support for more sustainable financing

On the financing side, the proportion of compulsory contributions could be increased from 20% of the organization’s CHF 5.8 billion to 50% within ten years. According to Mr Berset, “We collectively understood the need for a strong WHO” equipped with adequate resources and powers to prepare for and respond to pandemics.

Mr Tedros is due to be re-elected on Tuesday as the only candidate for a second term. After a wave of Ebola, he will have faced the pandemic, the worst epidemic in a century, which has claimed at least around 15 million lives, and several conflicts, particularly in Ethiopia, his country.

On Sunday, on the verge of tears, he denounced the effects of the war to which he himself was exposed. In view of epidemics, strengthening the WHO will be one of the projects of his likely next term.

This article was published automatically. Source: ats

#Night #Geneva #Museums #attracted #visitors

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.