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Ambassador Nassima Baghli adresses the 70th session of the World Health Assemby


The OIC Geneva Permanent Representative, H.E. Ms Nassima Baghli addressed the 70th session of the World Health Assembly on 24 May 2017. The theme for the general debate at this 70th session is "Building better systems for health in the age of sustainable development". 

Ambassador Bagli reaffirmed the OIC commitment to place health high on its agenda, as demonstrated by its milestone documents the OIC-2025 Programme of Action and the OIC Strategic Health Programme of Action 2014-2023. She mentioned the activities undertaken by the Islamic Development Bank in particular, on health infrastructure and human resources development in OIC Member States and underlined as well, the intra-OIC cooperation in building of health capacities.

Furthermore, she informed on OIC activities on cancer prevention and control and efforts on facilitating access to essential vaccines and medicines.

She also reaffirmed the OIC commitment to the total eradication of polio by 2019 and informed on the extension of the mandate of the Islamic Advisory Group to cover mother and child health and overall immunisation activities, in line with the transition of polio assets.

Ambassador Baghli also reaffirmed the OIC concern over the deteriorating health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, particularly in East Jerusalem, as well as in the occupied Syrian Golan, as a result of health-jeopardizing measures perpetuated by Israel, the occupying power. Moreover, she reiterated the OIC call for proper international access to Palestinian detainees and prisoners and the inspection of their conditions, stressing that Israel, the occupying power, must be held fully accountable for their well-being, including those on hunger strike.

This year's World Health Assembly is of particular importance as a new Director General was elected on 23 May 2017. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, an Ethiopian national, will lead the World Health Organization for the next five years.

The World Health Assembly will continue its work until 31 May 2017 and will cover a variety of issues ranging from mother and child health, non-communicable diseases and health of migrants.


OIC Coordination Meeting on Health Issues Convenes during the 70th World Health Assembly


The OIC General Secretariat in coordination with Turkey, Chair of the 5th Session of the Islamic Conference of Health Ministers (ICHM) organised a Coordination Meeting on the margins of the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva on 22 May 2017. The Meeting was attended by Senior Officials of the Member States who are attending the week-long 70th WHA. The Meeting provided a perfect opportunity to the Member States to assess the global heath agenda from the OIC perspective and to form harmonised positions on a number of issues of common interest.

In her remarks on behalf of the Secretary General, the OIC Permanent Observer to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Nassima Baghli highlighted OIC programmes and activities. She noted that OIC had become an important partner in health related initiatives at the international level.

On his part, the Representative of Turkey Dr. Öner Güner, Director General of EU and Foreign Affairs in the Ministry of Health hailed the OIC General Secretariat for embracing this important initiative. He underscored the importance of such a gathering in affording the OIC Member States the opportunity to shape and influence the global health agenda.

The Meeting was also addressed by the Representative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who gave a brief on the preparations for the 6th session of ICHM scheduled to be held in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on 5-7 December 2017.

The Meeting listened to the OIC-endorsed candidate for the post of Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Dr. Sania Nishtar from Pakistan. She outlined her vision for the WHO and called on Member States to rally behind her to implement her vision for the good of the WHO and global health at large.

The highly billed election of the new Director General of the WHO, in which three candidates from Pakistan, Ethiopia and United Kingdom, are running for the office is scheduled for 23 May 2017.

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