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Country Reports

Geneva Telegram - The World Health Assembly caught between pressure for reform & political tensions

by Dr. Olaf Wientzek, Rosa Ann Seidler

The "Geneva Telegram" explores events in Geneva-based multilateral organisations on a current topic. This time, the focus is on the 75th World Health Assembly.

The 75th World Health Assembly (WHA), which took place from May 22-28 of May 2022, was shaped by current geopolitical tensions and wars. This was reflected in the Assembly's theme: "Health for Peace, Peace for Health". In his opening statement, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus referred to the disastrous health consequences of wars, whether in Ukraine, Yemen, or Ethiopia.

The 75th World Health Assembly (WHA), which took place from May 22-28 of May 2022, was shaped by current geopolitical tensions and wars. This was reflected in the Assembly's theme: "Health for Peace, Peace for Health". In his opening statement, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus referred to the disastrous health consequences of wars, whether in Ukraine, Yemen, or Ethiopia. In a resolution introduced by Ukraine, the Assembly condemned Russia's attacks on health facilities.

After some discussion, the Member States decided to initiate a reform of International Health Regulations (IHR), with the aim of strengthening pandemic prevention. However, there is still considerable disagreement over how comprehensive such a reform should be. A paradigm shift was achieved with regard to the financing of WHO.

Not surprisingly, it was swiftly confirmed that the incumbent WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and the only candidate will remain in office for another five years.

A new strategy on HIV, on the other hand, was subject to much more contentious debate - and in the end was only adopted with the abstention of numerous countries.

Read the full report here.

Contact

Dr. Olaf Wientzek

Olaf Wientzek bild

Director of the Multilateral Dialogue Geneva

olaf.wientzek@kas.de +41 22 748 70 70
Contact

Rosa Ann Seidler

Rosa Ann Seidler

Research Assistant

rosa.seidler@kas.de +41 22 748 70 74