Africa: WHO Director-General’s Opening Remarks At the Member State Briefing On Covid-19 – 24 September 2020

Honourable Ministers, Excellencies, dear colleagues and friends,

Thank you for joining us for this week’s Member State briefing.

We have a full schedule today, so I will keep my remarks brief.

First, we will hear from Her Excellency Mrs Acosta, Vice-Minister of Health of the Dominican Republic, on her country’s experience in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Muchas gracias, your excellency.

Next up will be Professor Lothar Wieler, President of the Robert Koch institute in Germany, and the Chair of the Review Committee on the functioning of the International Health Regulations during the COVID-19 response.

Professor Wieler has kindly accepted to attend this briefing, together with the Vice-Chair of the Review Committee, Professor Lucille Blumberg from South Africa, and the Rapporteur, Professor Preben Aavistalnd from Norway.

I was pleased to learn that the committee has already met three times since I convened the group on 8 September 2020.

In accordance with the IHR, I also invited Member States, UN agencies and non-state actors to nominate representatives to the Committee.

More than 60 member States, five UN agencies and 25 non-State actors attended the first open meeting on 9 September 2020. Five Member States submitted their statements to the Review Committee.

I encourage all of you, all Member States, to provide your inputs to the Review Committee in advance of their next open meeting, which is set for 7 October 2020. Your input is essential to guide their deliberations.