Item 7.4 Implementation of the International Health Regulations (Nordic-Baltic statement)

Statement by Norway at # EB140 // 24 and 27.01.2017

Item 7.4 Implementation of the International Health Regulations (Nordic-Baltic statement)

 Thank you Chair,

•I am making this intervention on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries.

•First, we would like to align ourselves with the statement made by Malta on behalf of the EU and its Member States.

•In decision WHA69(14), member states request the Director-General to submit a final version of the global implementation plan for the consideration of the Executive Board at its 140th session. Our countries support the draft plan, and consider it a useful tool for furthering implementation of the International Health Regulations. However, we must admit that we had hoped for a more substantial and final version of the Global implementation plan at this stage and we note with concern that a lot of work remain and we look forward to a more detailed and action-orientated but still realistic plan.

•Meanwhile we believe the draft is well balanced in terms of respecting the existing provisions of the IHR, while adding elements that could improve the overall work on IHR implementation and management of disease outbreaks, including general strengthening of health systems.

•There is a need for stronger monitoring of IHR implementation in Member States, and we believe that the proposed monitoring framework with its four components will prove very helpful in this regard.

•We appreciate the commitment of the 28 Member States that have undergone Joint External Evaluations. The coming process of developing and revising the frameworks should be done in a transparent manner, while retaining the technical nature of the documents. We are therefore pleased that WHO is engaging experts from Member States as part of the revision process. We support WHO's strategy of prioritizing support to Member States with high risk and low capacity. This would provide the WHO and member states with the opportunity to contribute where necessary in accordance with article 44 of the regulations.

•Furthermore, we support the suggestions on the sharing of scientific information and the establishment of a risk evaluation and risk communication tools.

•Lastly, we look forward to seeing standardized operating procedures for focal points in place, taking into account national context, and with the intention of empowering the focal points in every Member State in carrying out their functions as according to the IHR.