Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova

WHO - EB 148 - EU statement: Item 14-2: WHO’s work in health emergencies

Geneva, 20/01/2021 - 12:15, UNIQUE ID: 210120_7
Statements on behalf of the EU


I speak on behalf the EU and its Member States.

The Candidate Countries Turkey, the Republic of North Macedonia[1], Montenegro* and Albania* as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Armenia align themselves with this statement.

== WHO’s work in emergencies ==

We thank the Secretariat for its report on WHO’s work in health emergencies. It reminds us that there are concurrent health emergencies on top of the Covid-19 pandemic that WHO is continuing to address, of which many are protracted crises where staff is also often at risk.

We commend WHO’s staff for their tireless work, their courage and their commitment to continuously improve WHO’s emergency programme. In this regard, we recall our expectations for a transparent and regular follow-up by the Secretariat on the progress of implementation of the IOAC’s recommendations, including providing all WHO Representatives with proper training, staffing key positions especially in priority countries, and ensuring that the WHE Programme operations are transparent and free of collusion, fraud, corruption and other types of misbehaviour.

== Support to the Evaluation groups’ work ==

To the evaluation mechanisms, we cannot stress enough the importance of your work. We are convinced that WHO must remain the lead international agency on global health. That is why we need a stronger WHO within a stronger multilateral system. We acknowledge that expectations from Member States generally outweigh the current WHO capacities. The international community needs to be on board to implement bold changes. This includes taking ambitious but realistic decisions regarding the future biennial budget and sustainable financing in general, while enhancing transparency and accountability of the Organization. 

== IHR and preparedness ==

We thank the Secretariat and the IHR Review Committee for their reports and the open meetings organised since November. We recall the great importance we attach to the IHR. We must admit, however, that the world as a whole was not prepared for this pandemic. We need to rethink prevention, control and response to global health crisis. That is why the EU and its Member States stand ready to explore ways to reinforce IHR implementation, including an effective system of compliance evaluation. We also stand ready to engage in strengthening Member States accountability, prerogatives of WHO and equitable access to health technologies, leaving no one behind.

We also want to stress the importance of transparent, swift, reliable and timely communication. It is a two way process, where trust should be the ultimate cornerstone. We are ready to engage in a discussion on how Member States can be better associated to decision-making when unusual health events of concern are detected and when PHEICs are declared, including by enhancing the role played by the EB in this regard.

== European facilitation to strengthen WHO’s work in emergencies ==

Ultimately, the responsibility for change lies in the hands of the Member States. That is why the EU welcomes the adoption of a decision which paves the way for a resolution to strengthen WHOs work in emergencies for adoption at the next WHA. The EU is pleased to inform you that a draft resolution, proposing a way forward to address the recommendations of the evaluation groups, will be shared soon. We are looking forward to working together with all Member States, in close collaboration with the evaluation mechanisms and the Secretariat, in an inclusive, constructive and transparent manner.


[1] The Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

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