I am speaking on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden
And aligning with the statement of Belgium on behalf the EU
We appreciate the work of the IHR review committee and the implementation efforts of the State Parties. However, we remain highly concerned that only 64 State Parties have met the minimum core capacities.
The recommendation 4 asks for technical and financial assistance in support of IHR implementation. We encourage State Parties to develop bilateral or multilateral joint activities in close collaboration with WHO to support each other in accelerating the development of the IHR core capacities.
The Global Health Security Agenda is a partnership of over 40 countries, WHO and international organizations. The aim is to strengthen health security and preparedness globally and to improve preparedness at country and regional levels, either through national efforts to strengthen health systems thereby enhancing preparedness capacity or by assisting other countries. The coalition is strongly committed to contribute concretely to improving IHR capacity in countries around the world. The partners will work through 11 Action Packages to enhance cross-sectoral cooperation and to strengthen core capacities to prevent, detect and respond to global health threats. With this effort, our hope is that, come next epidemic, we will be better prepared and able to react.
As the DG said in the special session, the implementation of the IHR should be embedded in the health systems of countries and not be a separate arm. Having said this, it is of utmost importance not to underestimate the extensive efforts, including cross-sectoral work, the implementation of IHR implies for many Member States.
We should advance beyond simple “implementation checklists” to a more action-oriented approach to periodic evaluation of functional capacities. We support the improvement of the IHR core capacity development and assessment processes by using a combination of self-assessment, peer-review and external evaluations of core capacities, as stated in Recommendation 7.
In this respect, a number of GHSA partners are developing and piloting methods for external assessments of national capacity. Five countries, Georgia, Peru, Portugal, Uganda and the United Kingdom, have so far volunteered for the process. The aim is to share the developed tools and experiences from this process so that the information can be used, as appropriate, in the process of the review of the IHR mechanisms.