Apurva Chandra, Union Health Secretary and Chair of Committee A of 77th World Health Assembly delivers his closing remarks to the plenary

Shri Apurva Chandra, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare who was the Chair of Committee A of the 77th World Health Assembly delivered the concluding remarks to the plenary, in Geneva yesterday. Presenting his report on the work of Committee A over the last 6 days, he highlighted the intense agenda with rich discussions in the assembly which culminated into decisions that will shape the future of global health.

The Union Health Secretary stated that the Committee A tackled the Fourteenth General Programme of Work, 2025–2028, the first in this new post-COVID era, setting a robust health agenda for the next four years. “We debated on its resourcing and sustainable financing through increased assessed contributions and the WHO investment round, pushing the boundaries to ensure we have the means to achieve our goals. We also applauded WHO’s vast work in emergencies and had long debates from early morning to late evening to consider an unprecedented set of health and technical issues”, he said.

Committee A recognizes the outstanding efforts of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body for the development of the Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response Accord and of the Working Group on Amendments to the International Health Regulations. With the revision of the International Health Regulations, an incredible milestone has been reached. Shri Apurva Chandra stated that “this is a further step towards equity and the creation of an umbrella of solidarity that will help protect the world from future pandemic threats. This is a gift to our children and grandchildren.”

Highlighting the intense, constructive discussions, extended evening sessions, extensive consultations and votes during the short assembly, the Union Health Secretary said that “we worked hard towards our common goal, finding solutions that moved our agenda forward with a spirit of understanding. Inspired by the theme “Health for All, All for Health”, we worked as one family, what we call Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam in India – the world is one family.”

“With almost 600 statements in total, we managed to steer the agenda to achieve our objectives, setting our roadmap for the future. Committee A approved 9 resolutions and 3 decisions. 24 reports on technical matters were also considered and noted”, he stated.

The Union Health Secretary concluded his remarks by thanking the dignitaries and the WHO Secretariat for their tireless efforts in meeting the member states’ expectations. “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as Chair of Committee A. I wish to thank you for electing me to this role and for the trust that you put in me as Chair”, he stated.

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