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Jun 3, 2024

WHA meet ends in Geneva

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FA News Desk

World Health Assembly held in Geneva from 27 May to 1 June under the overarching theme All for Health, Health for All has reached on wide-ranging, decisive package of amendments to improve the International Health Regulations, and sets date for finalizing negotiations on a proposed Pandemic Agreement

In an historic development, the World Health Assembly, the annual meeting of its 194 member countries, agreed a package of critical amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR), and made concrete commitments to completing negotiations on a global pandemic agreement within a year, at the latest.

The International Health Regulations (IHR) is a legally binding international instrument that defines countries’ responsibilities in managing public health events and emergencies with potential cross-border implications. The Regulations were last updated almost 20 years ago, in 2005.

These decisions represent two important steps by countries to build on lessons learned from several global health emergencies, including the COVID-19 pandemic

These steps will help ensure comprehensive, robust systems are in place in all countries to protect everyone everywhere from the risk of future outbreaks and pandemics, WHO said in a news release.

Countries also agreed to continue negotiating the proposed pandemic agreement to improve international coordination, collaboration and equity to prevent, prepare for and respond to future pandemics.

The WHO launched its first-ever Investment Round on Sunday as part of a broader plan to transform the way the Organization is funded heading into an era of climate change, mass migration, pandemic threats, an ageing world population, and turbulent geopolitics.

The launch, on the eve of the Seventy-Seventh World Health Assembly, marks the start of a year-long series of engagements and events, co-hosted by countries, where Member States and other donors will be invited to contribute funds to WHO’s strategy for 2025 through 2028 and show high-level political commitment to WHO and global health.

The WHO Executive Board approved the Investment Round in January, noting that funding had not kept pace with the Organization’s mandate to promote well-being, prevent disease, expand access to health care, and coordinate the world’s response to a growing number of health emergencies brought on by war, disease outbreaks, and natural disasters.

Meanwhile, earlier, WHO has announced this year’s winning films of its 5th Health for All Film Festival.

The awards were announced at a special event launching WHO’s Investment Round on the eve of the Seventy-Seventh World Health Assembly in Geneva.

This is the fifth year of the Film Festival which received almost 1000 entries from filmmakers around the world on issues ranging from gender equity and war trauma to burnout, climate change and healthy ageing.