U.S. Statement on the Outcome of the 74th World Health Assembly

World Health Organization
149th Session of the Executive Board 

Virtual Meeting
Geneva, Switzerland, June 2, 2021

Outcome of the Seventy-fourth World Health Assembly

Agenda Item 3

As Delivered by
Colin McIff
Deputy Director
Office of Global Affairs
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The United States commends the World Health Organization, the Secretariat, Director-General Tedros and Member States for a very successful 74th World Health Assembly.

Remarkable what we achieved together through a virtual platform with all of us disbursed around the world. The grouping of items was really interesting, not only for COVID but for other items and it was very helpful for thinking outside of policy and programmatic silos.

We greatly appreciate the broad consensus achieved on WHO Strengthening and the creation of the Member State Working Group to put forward recommendations to the Special Session of the World Health Assembly in November 2021.

Although there is great enthusiasm to move forward on WHO Strengthening, and, in considering whether an agreement, convention or other international instrument would best serve to address issues that could result in strengthening the WHO and improving preparedness and response, we should not prejudge the outcome of the Member State Working Group.

WHO Member States must consider what tool or mechanism is best suited to implement the strengthening recommendations from the Member State Working Group, rather than allow political pressure to dictate the outcome.

The United States is committed to a strong WHO and acting on the recommendations received and looks forward to helping lead with other WHO Member States.

Throughout the Assembly, Member States and stakeholders discussed other critical disruptions, such as to food systems and social safety nets, which threaten health, nutrition, and well-being in communities across the world.

As we look ahead to the Nutrition for Growth Summit, the High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS, and more, the United States continues to urge WHO and Member States to engage a wide range of actors at local, national, regional and global levels using a “health-in-all-policies” approach.