WHA 76 Agenda Item 15.1: Strengthening the global architecture for health emergency preparedness, response and resilience

May 22, 2023

COVID-19 has brought on an unprecedented crisis for people, particularly for those at higher risk and in vulnerable situations, putting their physical, mental health and wellbeing in jeopardy. 

Combined with the effects of conflicts and the climate crisis, COVID-19 has exacerbated inequities in access to essential services including health and nutrition, care and support, WASH, education, and shone a light on the need to adopt a multisectoral approach to prevent, prepare for, and respond to health emergencies.

In order to preserve the life, health, dignity, and wellbeing of all people, Member States must:

  1. Champion equity among and between countries as a central element of the global health architecture to prepare for future emergencies, and accelerate progress towards universal health coverage and the realisation of the right to health for all. 
  2. Prioritise human rights as the foundation of the Pandemic Accord and any future amendments to the International Health Regulations. Health emergencies instruments must enhance States’ existing human rights obligations and the realisation of human rights. 
  3. In health emergencies and beyond, ensure the availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of essential health services and products across the continuum of care, and to all people. These include personal protective equipment, vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics, as well as safe working conditions, appropriately remunerated work, and medical education opportunities for the health workforce.  
  4. Safeguard the continuity of access to health products, services, facilities and information, including for people living with noncommunicable diseases and persons with disabilities, and palliative care needs in health emergencies.
  5. Recognize WHO’s integral, inclusive, and transparent role in responding to health emergencies, strengthen the multilateral systems and organisations to drive global efforts for health emergency prevention, preparedness and response.
  6. Sustainably invest in addressing preparedness capacity gaps, including R&D, at country and regional level.
  7. Finally, ensure the full, equal, meaningful, and effective participation of civil society, communities and health professionals in the drafting, decision-making, monitoring, and  compliance of policies at national, regional, and global levels to build trust and legitimacy in the process.