St Vincent and the Grenadines is being represented by a three-person delegation at the 76th World Health Assembly (WHA) which opened at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland on Sunday, May 21.
Minister of Health St Clair Prince is leading the Vincentian delegation, which also includes Chief Medical Officer Simone Keizer Beache and Head of Health Security Donna Bascombe.
Discussions at the WHA will focus on the sustainable financing of the World Health Organization (WHO) as it reaches its 75th anniversary, as well as the critical role of the Organization in the Global Health Emergency Architecture.
“As we mark WHO’s 75th anniversary, we can be proud of our past achievements, but we must be mindful of lessons learned, as we transition from the emergency phase of COVID-19 and create a future where every person has access to the health services they need,” WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said.
“This means strengthening the global architecture for health emergency preparedness, response and resilience, supporting countries on the road to universal health coverage, and building a stronger, sustainably funded and accountable WHO.”
Discussions at the WHA will focus on strengthening preparedness and response to health emergencies, as well as areas including women’s, children’s, and adolescents’ health; universal health coverage and primary health care; traditional medicine; infection prevention and control; migrant health; non-communicable diseases; and mental health.
Ahead of the opening of the WHA, the Vincentian delegation met on Saturday May 20 with Taiwanese Ambassador in Geneva, Nicole Su and Taiwan’s Minister of Health Hsueh Jui-yuan and held talks on “matters of mutual concern and co-operation,” a release from the Agency for Public Information said.
SVG yet again supported Taiwan’s bid for observer status at the WHA, however the bid failed, owing to strenuous objections from China, which claims Taiwan is not an independent nation and remains part of mainland China.
Taiwan has been an ally of St Vincent and the Grenadines since 1981 and has contributed significantly in all areas of national development.
The Vincentian Delegation also attended Commonwealth Ministers meeting on Saturday.
The World Health Assembly ends on May 30.