The 73rd World Health Assembly of the World Health Organisation was to be held this year from May 17 to 21 in Geneva. Following the coronavirus pandemic and the related public health restrictions, the Assembly finally took place virtually, on May 18 and 19.

Although virtual, the Assembly brought together several hundred delegates, including the 194 member states, observers and partner organisations.

In view of current events, the Assembly focused on urgent governance issues as well as the response to the pandemic. The member states adopted by consensus a resolution on the subject, co-sponsored by almost 150 of them. This resolution calls for unity, solidarity and collaboration in the control and fight against coronavirus and calls for universal access to the products and vaccines needed to respond to the pandemic.

Furthermore, the resolution recognises large-scale vaccination against coronavirus as a global public good. The resolution also welcomes the efforts made by health professionals, health workers and all front line workers in the response to the pandemic.

This session has been suspended and will be resumed at a later date, probably at the end of 2020.

The Monegasque delegation was led by HE Ms. Carole Lanteri, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Mission of Monaco to the United Nations Office in Geneva. The World Health Assembly is the supreme decision-making body of WHO and is responsible for defining the policies of the organisation and approving its budgets. WHO is one of the Prince’s principal multilateral partners in international cooperation.

PHOTO: WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said “COVID-19 has robbed us of people we love. It’s robbed us of lives and livelihoods; it’s shaken the foundations of our world; it threatens to tear at the fabric of international cooperation. But it’s also reminded us that for all our differences, we are one human race, and we are stronger together.”

ORIGINAL SOURCES: Monaco Government, WHO