The UK would like to thank the Director General (DG) for his excellent report and congratulates the WHO on its many successes in 2023.
We want to recognise WHO’s important work and pay tribute to the dedication of WHO staff in responding to numerous ongoing health emergencies, including Ukraine and Gaza.
2024 is an important year for WHO. The UK looks forward to a successful Investment Round underpinned by a new General Programme of Work (GPW) that sets out clearly WHO’s priorities. WHO’s unique added value in the global health architecture will help accelerate progress towards the SDGs, taking a gender-responsive approach.
The UK underlines our commitment to agreement of a new Pandemic Accord and targeted amendments of the International Health Regulations, which together ensure our preparedness for future health threats with stronger prevention, and response, whilst respecting national sovereignty.
This is also an important year for addressing Anti Microbial Resistance (AMR), with the High-Level Meeting on AMR later this year providing an unprecedented opportunity to move forward this global agenda.
The UK welcomes this week’s focus on climate and health. At COP28, leaders noted that climate change is now a health crisis, as you have said many times DG. One we can only face collectively with WHO playing a key role.
This is all in the context of several challenges for health systems including an ageing population. We are happy to share key learnings on this which are highlighted in our Chief Medical Officer’s report.
Finally, the upcoming COP on tobacco control is an opportunity to focus on a key public health issue. The UK is committed to ending the harms of tobacco and plans to introduce a new law to create the first ‘smoke-free generation’.