MoPH Participation in the 71th World Health Assembly in Geneva
The world just concluded the 71st session of the World Health Assembly in Geneva which took place at the Palais des Nations, between May 21 and 26. Lebanon was represented by two delegates from the Ministry of Public health this year, the Director General, Professor Walid Ammar, and the Head of Vital Statistics Department, Ms Hilda Harb, in addition to the delegates who joined as usual from the Permanent Mission in Geneva, HE Ambassador Salim Baddoura and Ms Rana El Khoury. Lebanon actively participated in all committees’ deliberations and side events concerning important public health topics like UHC and the engagement of the private sector, the role of parliamentarians in UHC, and polio eradication, as well as the work of WHO in emergencies. This year, and on the occasion of the WHA, a Fifth Special Session of the Regional Committee of eh Eastern Mediterranean Committee took place in Geneva on May 19 in order to elect a new Regional Director following the unfortunate death of Dr Mahmoud Fikri last year. Lebanon had a candidate for that post, Dr Rana Hajjeh, who ran an excellent campaign but, unfortunately, didn’t make it to the post. Worth noting that there was a renewal of the mandate of the Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee of WHO which aims at guiding the activities of the emergency program, and which was established two years ago, with Professor Ammar as a renewed member.
Fourteen resolutions and 8 decisions were considered and approved, including a resolution on the Thirteenth General Programme of Work of the WHO 2019-2023, which gives emphasis on country level strengthening in capacities such as planning and priority setting.