Item 14.9: Reform of WHO’s work in health emergency management

Last updated: 10.06.2016 //                             

Thank you Chair,

There have been many calls for transformative changes of WHO’s crisis management over the past year, including from the Executive Board Special Session last year, the Stocking Report, WHO’s own Advisory Group and the High-Level Panel on the Global Response to Health Crises. 

We would like to emphasise the need for the work on health crises to be an integrated part of WHO’s work.  WHO needs to “deliver as one” under the leadership of the Director General and the Executive Director of the new Health Emergencies Programme.

Heads of WHO Country Offices and Regional Directors need to be fully engaged in incident management decision-making and within the functioning of the new Programme.

Incident Managers, heads of Country Offices and Regional Directors must establish good working relationships with one another during the management of events and be held accountable for doing so.

We would like to stress the need for intensified prevention efforts in line with obligations under the International Health Regulations, and we urge WHO to support member states more effectively in their IHR implementation.

WHO needs to build the capacity of its staff in humanitarian partner coordination and response, so that they can engage in outbreaks and emergencies and function within an incident management system more successfully.

We call for stronger and more visible leadership of Health Clusters, and that WHO maintains high-level engagement with the Inter-Agency Standing Committee.  WHO must build stronger linkages with other humanitarian Clusters and treat its Cluster activities as part of its core mandate.

WHO must now urgently build a dedicated capacity for coordination, planning, information management, and communications and ensure the integration of the capacities of Health Cluster partners in emergency operations.

Finally, we would like to stress the importance of rapid, accurate and objective risk assessments under the Executive Director of the new Programme.

In conclusion, Chair, we are now 18 months into the emergency reform process, and the overwhelming need is for the organization to move forward.

Given the current situation, we support A69/30 as a viable basis for consensus. We will face a very difficult process should the decision points be opened. We are therefore prepared to move forward on this basis, and hope that other delegations share this readiness.

Thank you!