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Joint Statement for 77th World Health Assembly

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of 48 countries:

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • EU27 MS
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • North Macedonia
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Republic of Korea
  • South Africa
  • Switzerland
  • Thailand
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

We commend the advances WHO has made to strengthen its systems, policies, and culture to prevent sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment.  The challenges have been immense but the sustained efforts to date and level of senior engagement in this area have demonstrated that real change and real progress can be made. WHO has shown agility in its response, the ability to prioritise, the ability to self-reflect, and a commitment to zero tolerance.

We urge WHO to sustain this commitment and leadership. Whilst great progress has been made, we – the WHO community – cannot afford to take our foot off the gas now.

Efforts to deliver culture change, to focus on prevention, to prioritise PRSEAH in emergencies and support victim-survivors – all these areas are deserving of further focus and efforts. Establishing an ethical culture that advances gender equality needs to be a clear goal.

The job is not done. We recognise that embedding these changes takes time, especially behaviour and culture change, and particularly in a large and complex organisation such as WHO.

We encourage sustained funding and focus on PRSEAH work in regional and country offices and particularly in responses to health emergencies.

WHO must continue in this positive direction with high ambitions for success. We expect full continued commitment from senior management in promoting a trust-based organisational culture, and on ensuring a safe and respectful workplace, free of any form of misconduct and stigmatisation of victim-survivors. We will be closely following these efforts and are ready to continue to support WHO however we can.