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WHO’s work in health emergencies, Global Health for Peace Initiative and Influenza Preparedness
January 28, 2022

Pillar 2 Group 2 Combined intervention:
WHO’s work in health emergencies, Global Health for Peace Initiative and Influenza Preparedness

World Health Organization (WHO)
150th Session of the Executive Board

Geneva, Switzerland – Virtual Meeting
January 24-29, 2022

Agenda Items 15.3, 15.5, and 15.4

As Delivered

The United States recognizes the challenges of emergency response at all levels, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. We commend WHO’s work.

WHO must prioritize preventing and responding to sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment (SEAH) in all emergencies. We are encouraged by the update of WHO’s Emergency Response Framework to clarify the central role of protection from SEAH during health emergencies.

We recognize the need to strengthen vaccine confidence, and to address the role of mis- and disinformation. Accelerating vaccine uptake and demand is critical to achieving COVID-19 vaccination goals, to future emergency responses and to ongoing efforts to combat vaccine-preventable diseases.

In this regard, the United States appreciates the example of Taiwan in its COVID-19 response as well as its support to many around the world. We urge WHO to be fully inclusive of all partners, including Taiwan, as we take our collective work forward in responding to global health emergencies.

On 15.5, the United States supports the draft decision for the Global Health for Peace Initiative.

However, we regret that the text reflects only two of the three core pillars of the UN Charter; it fails to incorporate human rights as a fundamental pillar in addition to peace and development.

The WHO has an important role to play in promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, in coordination with other UN agencies and in alignment with the UN Charter.

On 15.4, we stress the need to continue prioritizing global influenza preparedness and the importance of sample sharing in that regard. We will provide our remaining remarks in writing.