Fifty-ninth World Health Assembly, closing remarks by Dr Anders Nordström, Acting Director-General
ladies and gentlemen
This has indeed been a very difficult week, not only for me personally, but for all staff and everyone in this room. I would like to thank the delegate of the Netherlands for his kind words in this regard.
And I would like to thank you all for your dedicated work.
You have expressed your compassion and support for Dr Lee's family, and honoured his legacy and work.
At the same time you have been able to take on a tough agenda and achieve very important results.
In particular, I would like to thank you, Mr President, for steering us smoothly through this World Health Assembly. You have had excellent support from the Vice Presidents of the Assembly and from the Chairs of Committees A and B.
This week you, Member States, have made some very clear commitments. You have paved the way for accelerated action in very many areas.
I will mention just a few of them.
You have agreed to early voluntary compliance with the International Health Regulations. This puts us in a stronger position to detect and react quickly to public health emergencies. This is especially important for the global response to avian and human pandemic influenza.
HIV/AIDS. We had some substantive discussions, and very strong engagement. We will now move ahead with the new five-year strategy towards universal access.
The strategy on sexually transmitted infections has been endorsed. Progress in this area will have a major impact on the health of adolescents.
The Report of the Commission on Intellectual Property Rights: I was very pleased that we were able to agree on the resolution. The plan of action can now start.
I would also like to thank you for your approval of the Eleventh General Programme of Work. We look forward to engaging in this, with all of you, and with other key partners to global health. The Global Health Agenda for the next 10 years is now in front of us all.
You have seen the performance assessment report for 2004-2005. It is quite amazing to see how much has been achieved in only two years' time.
Many events and technical discussions have been held during this World Health Assembly. I will mention only one. The launch of the Health Workforce Alliance. This will be an important mechanism to address the current human resources crisis.
The Secretariat will now take forward the work that you have entrusted us with. I will do my best, in my acting capacity, to facilitate this. This week has put the Organization to the test. You have proved that it can function even in exceptional situations.
Dr Lee was fully committed to open, transparent dialogue with, and between, Member States. I will continue this, as well as Dr Lee's overall vision and direction, for the few months that I will be here in this capacity.
Finally, I have a proposal.
JW Lee was determined to see polio eradication completed. Sadly he died before that could happen.
In his memory, and in honour of all that he stood for, let us commit with absolute dedication to see that goal quickly accomplished.
Thank you very much.