Fifty-eighth World Health Assembly

Closing remarks

Geneva, Switzerland
25 May 2005

Madam President, Honourable Ministers, Distinguished Delegates,

I would like to thank all the delegates for the energy and commitment they have demonstrated over the last 10 days. In particular, I wish to thank you, Madam President, for presiding so graciously and successfully over these discussions, with the excellent support of the Vice Presidents of the Assembly and the Chairs of Committees A and Committee B.

I would also like to add my thanks to Ambassador Whelan, who chaired the Intergovernmental Working Group on the Revision of the International Health Regulations. Adoption of the Regulations reflects consensus with great strength and clarity. Yet adoption of the Regulations is only a beginning. I will immediately take action on the steps required in the resolution, including strengthening our capacity to provide support to countries for detection, assessment and response to public health emergencies, and the establishment of the IHR roster of experts.

We may have little time to prepare for the next influenza pandemic. I urge all Member States and partners to meet the requirements for preparedness, surveillance and response, and will ensure that the secretariat moves quickly to assist you all in these efforts.

The adoption of the Programme Budget for 2006-2007 gives clear direction to the work of the Organization in the next biennium, and also reflects the trust of Member States in the work of the secretariat.

The Assembly has adopted many resolutions concerning issues of profound significance for global health. The secretariat will work quickly to implement the actions required by these resolutions. Thank you all for the hard work and many accomplishments of the past ten days.