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1.     Singapore’s first resolution Strengthening Health Emergency Preparedness and Response in Cities and Urban Settings was adopted at the 75th World Health Assembly (WHA) on 27 May 2022, with co-sponsorship from countries from all six World Health Organization (WHO) regions.


2.          The resolution urges WHO and its Member States to invest sufficiently in urban health emergency preparedness and adopt a whole-of-government and multisectoral approach in planning and response to health emergencies in cities and urban settings, with emphasis on including subnational levels and subpopulations. The resolution also calls for collaboration with international partners to support learning and sharing of good practices.



3.          In his intervention delivered at the World Health Assembly during the discussion on the resolution, Minister for Health Mr Ong Ye Kung urged Member States to take steps now to strengthen health emergency preparedness and response, especially in cities and urban settings, as they are the first line of readiness and response.


4.          The adoption of the resolution signals clear recognition by Member States of the critical role played by cities in health emergency preparedness, with cities often being both vulnerable to outbreaks, but also having the capacity to deliver a strong response.


5.           In his intervention, Minister Ong also urged WHO Member States to ramp up COVID-19 vaccination efforts, which will allow Member States to reduce severe illness and deaths, while enabling trade and travel to continue.


6.          With the WHA proceedings drawing to a close, Singapore will also complete its three-year WHO Executive Board (EB) term (2019 to 2022) and its term as an appointed member of the Bureau of the Member States Working Group on Strengthening WHO Preparedness and Response to Health Emergencies (WGPR).


7.          During the trip, Minister Ong also held bilateral meetings with H.E. Magnus Heunicke, Minister of Health, Denmark; H.E. Khairy Jamaluddin, Minister of Health, Malaysia; H.E. Andrew Little, Minister of Health, New Zealand; H.E. Anutin Charnvirakul, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health, Thailand; H.E. Ernst Kuipers, Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport, the Netherlands; H.E. Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, UK; as well as WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and other members of the WHO senior leadership team.


8.          Singapore looks forward to continued partnership with the WHO on global health issues, including enhancing pandemic preparedness, strengthening healthcare systems and health development, combating non-communicable diseases and promoting universal health coverage.



27 MAY 2022

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