Thank you chair,
Norway commends the Independent Oversight Advisory Committee for its work, and we welcome their thorough and balanced report.
We are very encouraged by the Committee’s positive assessments. The report shows that WHO’s scaling up of robust operational capacities in health emergencies is well underway, despite serious funding shortages.
We agree with the findings and support the Committee’s recommendations. In particular, we note the need for scaling up the organization’s pool of competent incident managers. WHO should prioritize recruitment and training in order to establish critical mass of capacity at country level.
The Committee furthermore points to the need for delegating more authority to incident managers, and that the Country Office leadership should be accountable for the performance of the incident management system.
Chair, it is evident that WHO is doing its part. Member states now need to follow up with the necessary funding in order for WHO to continue this important scaling up. This is a shared responsibility.
Norway also acknowledges the important ongoing efforts of WHO to further develop the R&D Blueprint. An example is WHO’s supportive role in developing the new Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations – CEPI. CEPI is building a new system to advance the development of safe, effective and affordable vaccines, and will provide an important insurance against the growing threat from emerging infectious diseases.
Lastly chair; Norway welcomes the proposal for the IHR Implementation plan. This draft is the outcome of Member States discussions both in the Regional Committee and at the Executive Board meeting in January. We see this as a strong and much needed response to the shortcomings in IHR implementation at national level.
This Health Assembly must send a strong signal that we are prepared to do what is needed in order to get IHR implementation on the right track, and show that we are committed to following up on the recommendations made by the IHR Review Committee. We therefore strongly support the adoption of this draft IHR implementation plan.