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Remarks by HHS Secretary Becerra at the 77th World Health Assembly

from website of   : u.s department of health and human services

Remarks by HHS Secretary Becerra at the 77th World Health Assembly

Photo from wikipedia

My esteemed colleagues:

It wasn’t even. And it wasn’t pretty. But the world emerged from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to unprecedented collaboration that brought governments, the private sector, and civil society together around a common goal: to save lives. 

But the further we get from the pandemic, the more memory fades. And, as we forget, urgency dissipates.

Unprecedented collaboration will be needed again if we are to prevent, detect, contain, and respond quickly to the many common threats that we face.

We shouldn’t wait for the worst case to descend. We should use our time — here, now, after two years — to take the meaningful steps that we know we must. Let’s capture the significant progress achieved over the past two years and finalize the proposed amendments to the IHRs this week. 

Those amendments – especially the tiered alert system – will immediately make a difference in improving global preparedness. Finalizing the IHRs will build confidence in our ability to work together and set the stage for a more constructive future on pandemic response. And, we can prove that the world is ready to respond in extraordinary ways to extraordinary events that threaten global health.


Global health encompasses so much more than what  a thermometer or a scale can measure. We must recognize (1) the value of a world that is equitable and inclusive; (2) the necessity of advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights for all; and (3) the importance of including the voices of women, minorities, and LGBTQIA+ populations into decision-making. 

We also know that the health and security of each nation is irrevocably connected to the health and security of people everywhere. 

That is why we continue to strongly support the meaningful participation of Taiwan at the World Health Assembly and in the WHO’s work more broadly.

That is why we cannot allow Russia’s war in Ukraine to continue, or the suffering and death to spread further – and why the international community, including the United States, will continue to stand with the people of Ukraine. 

That is why the tragic, avoidable loss of life and cycle of destruction and dislocation between Israel and Palestine [Israelis and Palestinians] must stop immediately. We need a ceasefire agreement that leads to the release of hostages, a surge in humanitarian assistance into Gaza, and the road to a two-state solution. Palestinians and Israelis deserve to live safely, with dignity, and in peace.  

And that’s why President Biden is fully committed to the WHO and the ongoing work of this body – including reforms that will make it even stronger and a new General Programme of Work that advances health equity. The United States is proud to be both a strong partner and a leader in global public health. We believe in the potential of this body.


Health, and threats against global health, have an outsized influence on broader global political and economic interests. There is no stability without health. There is no security without health. Our nations cannot be strong unless they are healthy.  

Esteemed colleagues, there is never a wrong moment to strike a good deal for humanity and health. But moments are fleeting. Let us not forget the magnitude of this moment. 

Thank you.

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