Federal Councillor Alain Berset at the WHO World Health Assembly

Bern, 23.05.2022 - Yesterday, 22 May 2022, Swiss Federal Councillor Alain Berset opened the 75th World Health Assembly in Geneva. It runs until 28 May 2022. The focal points of the assembly are strengthening the World Health Organization (WHO), assuring its sustainable funding and improving pandemic preparedness. Federal Councillor Alain Berset also met various ministers of health for bilateral discussions.

This year's World Health Assembly runs under the banner of "Health for Peace, Peace for Health" and stands in the context of the current geopolitical situation and the ongoing pandemic. In his opening speech, Federal Councillor Alain Berset emphasised the key importance of multilateral cooperation. Switzerland views the WHO's role as a universal, multilateral organisation within the global health architecture, and particularly its role in global endeavours to improve pandemic preparedness, as very important. Federal Councillor Berset called for the WHO to be strengthened and provided with solid funding so that it can continue to meet the high expectations of member states in the future.

The topics discussed at this year's assembly include the Global Health for Peace Initiative developed by Switzerland in close cooperation with the Sultanate of Oman. One of the goals of the initiative is to promote health as a bridge to peace in fragile contexts and expand capabilities in the field of health diplomacy. 

Strengthening patient safety
As the host of the 5th Global Ministerial Summit on Patient Safety, which will take place in Montreux on 23 and 24 February 2023, Switzerland is actively working to improve patient safety on a global basis. In this context, Federal Councillor Berset discussed the topic of COVID-19 and
patient safety in a high-level meeting with health ministers of various countries. On the fringe of the World Health Assembly he also had further
bilateral discussions with ministers of health.

The World Health Assembly is the supreme decisionmaking body of WHO. In May every year, delegations from all WHO member states gather in Geneva to review and determine the WHO's thematic, financial and organisational focus and its future programmes. 

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