Iran strongly supports WHO in global health

December 5, 2021 - 18:28

TEHRAN – Iran strongly supports the fundamental role of WHO in global health security and emergency response initiatives, Mohammad Hossein Nicknam, director of the International Affairs Department at the Ministry of Health, said.

He made the remarks at the World Health Assembly's second special session (WHASS) on Tuesday regarding the position of Iran.

Nicknam highlighted that “one of the most important considerations in developing a pandemic treaty is how to ensure a fair supply of medical countermeasures to all member states and streamlined technology transfer to those developing countries which can potentially serve this will.

Therefore, the best decision should be made by focusing on this goal. A clear consensus-based path forward towards our shared goal is what we should expect from this whole process.”

“Over the past two years, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused a lot of catastrophic ailments and suffering for all people in the world, and the challenge still continues. The lesson learned from the enormous challenge posed by the recent pandemic is that the world cannot afford to remain idle until the next deadly pandemic strikes. We need to be prepared better and respond more efficiently and effectively in the face of future pandemics.

Iran strongly supports the fundamental role of WHO in global health security and emergency response initiatives and believes that there is an urgent need to strengthen the Organization in order to fulfill its constitutional mandate, including initiatives to consolidate its efforts vis-à-vis the future global health challenges.

We reiterate our position that the IHR remains an essential existing tool in addressing global health emergencies. However, the IHR efficiency hinges on member States’ capacity and commitment to its implementation. Multilateral cooperation to support IHR implementation, in particular through predictable and sustainable financial support at the national, regional, and global levels, is highly important.

We further underline that the relationship between any new legal framework and the existing International Health Regulations would need to be clearly articulated and defined. In our view, any new instrument should complement, and not overlap or substitute the IHR.

We are cognizant of different views and reflections that seek to unify member States towards a common global agenda for more resilient societies to future pandemics.

In this regard, we stress that “equal access” to medical countermeasures and manufacturing capacities remains paramount for developing countries that sustain the disproportionate consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The current pandemic continues to show the challenges posed by the lack of access to COVID-19 tools and vaccines. This concern must be addressed in any foreseeable outcome of our collective endeavors.”

The WHASS, held from November 29 to December 1, discussed the development of a potential new global health treaty to support pandemic preparedness.

Representatives of WHO's 194 member states joined the event to consider new international instruments and/or strengthening IHR 2005 for handling future outbreaks.

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