The 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA) of the World Health Organization (WHO) was scheduled to take place this year from 17th to 21st May in Geneva. Following the Covid-19 pandemic and the related public health restrictions, the WHA finally took place virtually on 18th and 19th May.

Although virtual, this Assembly brought together several hundred delegates, including the 194 Member States, observers and partner organisations.

The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of WHO and is responsible for defining the Organization’s policy and approving its budgets. In light of current events, the Assembly focused on urgent issues faced by governments and the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the conference, nearly 150 Member States proposed a co-sponsored resolution on the way in which we can tackle this health crisis. It was almost unanimously adopted. This resolution encouraged unity, solidarity and collaboration in the control and fight against COVID-19, calling for a guarantee in the universal access to the products and vaccines needed to respond to this pandemic.

Celebrating key workers

Furthermore, the resolution recognised large-scale vaccination against COVID-19 as a global public good. It also commended the efforts made by health professionals, health workers and all front-line workers in the response to the pandemic. They have ensured that the essential services of our societies can function and that people affected by COVID-19 can be provided with care.

This session was then suspended and members expect to reconvene at a later date, probably at the end of 2020.

The Monegasque delegation was led by H.E. Ms. Carole Lanteri, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Monaco to the United Nations Office at Geneva.

The WHO is one of the main partners of the Princely government in international cooperation.