Chancellor Merkel addresses World Health Assembly

German Chancellor, Angela Dorothea Merkel, said on Monday that the human right to health could only be pushed through an advanced and sustainable health system.

She, therefore, said the G7 member-countries were working hard to incorporate human rights to health into the United Nations work programme, to bolster the Sustainable Development Goals.

Chancellor Merkel was delivering an address as the special guest of the 68th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.

She said the resilience and capacity of the health system to impact on other countries could not be overemphasized, as it had direct correlation to security, safety and stability of other countries.

“Health and security are two sides of one and the same coin,” she said.

We are economically strong. As G7 member-countries we have a very highly developed scientific expertise in the field, and also because we share common values.

The dignity of man is indivisible and must not be limited to the G7 countries.

On Ebola, she said the catastrophe in West Africa had rekindled the urgent need on how to harness international action in critical crisis situation.

Chancellor Merkel said “the lesson that we need to draw, all of us, is we ought to have reacted far earlier.”

“We need a global contingency plan, and here the World Health Organization is of central importance.”

She said WHO was the only international organization with universal political legitimacy on global health issues.

She said, apart from the central legitimacy on health issues, WHO could launch a contingency plan of global importance, but in partnership with the UN system and the World Bank.

“I’m convinced that if we react faster, if we act faster and if we have clearer command structure in place, we will be better equipped to combat a crisis such as Ebola.

“We always have to start from the basis of each and every country developing its capable and resilient health system, and rendering countries to same. Germany feels this is a central task to do.”

Chancellor Merkel said her country would advance 70 million Euros out of 200 million Euros to West African countries, to help build up structures in their health systems, so they could help themselves in cases of crisis.

She urged all major actors to act together in the interest of mankind. GNA

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