Delivered by Amb. Rajiv K. Chander at the WHO EXECUTIVE BOARD Special session during the discussions on the draft thirteenth general programme of work on 22 November 2017

Opening Statement by India 

Delivered by Amb. Rajiv K. Chander at the WHO EXECUTIVE BOARD Special session during the discussions on the draft thirteenth general programme of work on 22 November 2017.

Thank you Mr. Chair

We thank and compliment the DG for the draft GPW 2019-23 which provides an overarching strategic vision for the WHO for the next five years. We are broadly supportive of the approach adopted by the DG and his leadership team and see a lot merit in the draft GPW.

Access to Medicines and Health Research & Development Agenda are among the top priorities for India at the WHO. We note with appreciation that draft GPW mentions in unequivocal terms that Universal health coverage must include access to affordable and quality-assured medicines, vaccines and health products. However, we would like to see that a more clearer roadmap on the issue of Health R & D Agenda. In addition India would like to see a greater emphasis to be given to Traditional & Complementary Medicine and mainstreaming of Digital Health in the Strategic Priorities of the WHO.

India believes that the GPW should be aligned with the constitutional mandate of WHO which defines the raison d’etre of the organization. As we embark on the two days intensive discussions on the various elements of the draft GPW, it is important to recall Article 2 of the WHO Constitution that defines the first function of WHO, which is and I quote “to act as the directing and coordinating authority on international health work”. It is important for the new GPW priorities to bein sync with the priority areas enumerated under Art. 2

Mr. Chairperson

India agrees with the general thrust of aligning the GPW towards the Sustainable Development Goals. However, we would urge WHO to not only set strategic priorities but also focus on the means and resources needed to achieving them.

My delegation will engage constructively and put forward specific comments as the discussions progress during the subsequent sessions We wish the DG all success in his endeavours.

I thank you Mr. Chair.

 
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