The Minister of Health & Family Welfare Shri Jagat Prakash Nadda successfully steered the proceedings of the 68th Session of the World Health Assembly in his capacity as its President. It was after a gap of 19 years that India assumed the Presidency of the World Health Assembly, the highest decision making body of the World Health Organisation. The 68th WHA took place in Geneva from 18-26 May 2015.
The significant outcome of the 68th World Health Assembly is the adoption of a Global Action Plan on Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) which prepares a blueprint with specific actions and timelines for WHO as well as Member States to address the growing threat of AMR. The UN General Assembly is expected to hold a high-level segment on AMR in 2016 to further highlight the need for comprehensive implementation of the Plan. Other major outcomes of the 68th World Health Assembly include bringing adverse health impacts of air pollution to the main agenda of the World Health Organization and extension of the implementation timeframe of the Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health Innovation and Intellectual Property (GSPOA). The Assembly also endorsed the Director General’s Action Plan to strengthen the emergency response capacities of WHO and approved a 8% increase in WHO’s programme budget for 2016-17.
India played a constructive role in the adoption of consensus resolutions on AMR and air pollution and also co-sponsored the resolution on GSPOA. India used the opportunity of its Presidency to reiterate its commitment to WHO and announced voluntary contributions to the tune of US $ 2.1 million towards the new WHO contingency fund, the pooled fund for implementation of R&D demonstration projects and the Member State Mechanism on SSFFC Medical Products.
In his capacity as the President of the 68th World Health Assembly, Shri J P Nadda and Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO jointly inaugurated a photo-exhibition on “Yoga for All, Yoga for Health” on 19 May, 2015. This is the first major event on Yoga at the United Nations since adoption by the UN General Assembly last year of a resolution that declared 21 June as the International Day of Yoga, and a precursor to the first observance of the International Day of Yoga on 21st June this year in Geneva.
Shri J P Nadda led the Indian delegation at the Commonwealth Health Ministers’ Meeting, 8th NAM Health Ministers’ Meeting and BRICS Health Ministers’ Meeting held on the side line of the Assembly. He also had bilateral meetings with his counterparts from China, UK, USA, Sweden, The Netherlands, South Africa, Brazil, Timor-Leste and Turkmenistan.