Seventy-fourth World Health Assembly

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The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of WHO. It is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States and focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board. The main functions of the World Health Assembly are to determine the policies of the Organization, appoint the Director-General, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed programme bud



Director-General's opening remarks at the World Health Assembly (General debate) - 24 May 2021

24 May 2021

Excellencies, ministers, heads of delegation, distinguished guests, dear colleagues and friends,

It gives me great pleasure to open the General Debate.

This Health Assembly is one of the most important in the history of this Organization.

In addition to the full agenda before you this week, your discussions will help to shape the future of WHO, and the future of global health security.

I made my report to the Assembly this morning, and I refer you to those remarks.

As we conduct our business this week, I ask you to remember the people around the world who as we speak are fighting for their lives;

I ask you to remember those who are at risk of COVID-19, but lack the tools to protect themselves;

I ask you to remember the health and care workers who today and every day put themselves in harm’s way in the service of others;

And I ask you to remember that although the pandemic is uppermost in our minds, millions of people around the world today face many other health threats that existed before the pandemic and will still be there when the pandemic is finally over.

Thank you once again to all Member States for your continued commitment, support and engagement.

I look forward to hearing your continuing commitments to promote health, keep the world safe, and serve the vulnerable.

I wish us a productive debate.

I thank you.


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