Lyonpo Dasho Dechen Wangmo, Minister for Health is currently leading a delegation at the 74th World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland, being held from 24th May to 1st June 2021. The World Health Assembly is the highest decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO) and is attended by delegates from all the 194 WHO Member States. The Theme for the 74th WHA’s is “Ending this pandemic, preventing the next: building together a healthier, safer and fairer world”.
Lyonpo Dasho Dechen Wangmo was elected the President of the Assembly, a position Bhutan is assuming for the first time since it became a member of the WHO in 1982. Hon’ble Lyonpo was nominated as the President of the 74th WHA by the Member States of the South East Asia Region.
Lyonpo will hold the office of the President for a duration of one year. In her opening Presidential Statement at the Assembly, Lyonpo highlighted the need for global solidarity in combating the pandemic and called for a response that is deeply rooted in the values of humanity and compassion that must rise above petty nationalism and reach out to each and every individual on this planet. She called for a global humanitarian corridor to ensure the seamless flow of medicines, vaccines and other critical health commodities and reiterated the need to ensure the provision of uninterrupted essential health services to the vulnerable population during pandemics and public health emergencies of global concern.
During her stay in Geneva, Hon’ble Lyonpo is scheduled to meet her Swiss counterpart, H.E Mr. Alain Berset, Minister of the Federal Office for Public Health and President Peter Maurer of the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and officials from GAVI, Global Fund and other international organizations. Hon’ble Lyonpo will also deliver a keynote address at a high-level panel discussion on “Uninterrupted Health Services for NCDs during the COVID-19 crisis” organised by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research at the margins of the 74th WHA.