New York:Minister of Public Health and Chairperson of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) HE Dr Hanan Mohammed Al Kuwari has affirmed Qatar's unwavering commitment to a comprehensive, equitable, and inclusive approach to strengthening national, regional, and global preparedness for epidemics and health emergencies, with WHO at the heart of this collective approach.

This came in the minister’s during Qatar's participation in the high-level meeting on pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response at the UN General Assembly.

Dr Al Kuwari said Qatar's commitment to this pivotal issue and to making progress in it comes through the current presidency of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization. She stressed the full readiness to cooperate, exchange experiences, and formulate innovative paths to enhance the collective resilience in the face of health emergencies.

Dr Al Kuwari stressed the need to strengthen the global structure for preparedness, response, and resilience, adding that Qatar appreciates the efforts led by the member states of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) to draft a WHO convention on epidemic prevention, preparedness, and response.

Qatar also actively participates in the deliberations on the proposed amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005), taking into account the principles of equity, sovereignty, and solidarity.

She stated that sustainable leadership is at the heart of the collective success, and this meeting is an opportunity to reaffirm the commitment of Member States to a unified, impartial, and comprehensive approach towards strengthening preparedness, prevention, and response to epidemics and health emergencies.

Balancing sovereignty and mutual accountability among WHO Member States is pivotal, and the Comprehensive Health and Preparedness Review provides a voluntary and transparent mechanism that enhances intergovernmental dialogue on national capacities for health emergencies, she added.

Dr Al Kuwari indicated that the Pandemic Fund has emerged as a driving force motivating national capacities to prepare for health emergencies, with low- and lower-middle-income countries benefiting from more than 75 percent of the selected proposals.

She noted that it is important to take an integrated ecosystem approach that focuses on collaborative surveillance, community protection, safe and scalable care, access to countermeasures, and emergency coordination, reiterating the importance of intensive cooperation between international partners and all stakeholders while recognizing the impact of a variety of key actors in the global health scene.

The High-Level Meeting on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness, and Response formulated a political declaration that aims at mobilizing political will at the national, regional, and international levels for pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response.

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