(L-R): Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO; Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister; Credit: SIP / Luc Deflorenne

On Monday 3 October 2022, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), was in Luxembourg to attend a high-level conference organized by the European Investment Bank (EIB) on the resilience of health systems; during the day he also met several members of the Luxembourg government, including the Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel, the Minister of Health, Paulette Lenert, and the Minister of Cooperation and Humanitarian Action, Franz Fayot.

Prime Minister Xavier Bettel particularly wanted to commend Dr. Tedros for the central coordinating role WHO has played during the management of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Prime Minister also recalled Luxembourg's commitment to the right to health for all and reaffirmed the country's intention to achieve sustainable development goal number three, which concerns health and well-being and which is part of the 2030 Agenda. Xavier Bettel also expressed his concern about the many crises that humanity is going through at the moment, including the climate crisis, a war in Europe and many humanitarian emergencies around the world. He stressed, however, that the only way to deal with these crises is through close multilateral cooperation.

Minister Lenert and Minister Fayot discussed many topics related to global health in a joint meeting.

In particular, the Minister of Health commended the Director-General for the ongoing work on key issues relating to WHO institutional reform and the need to improve the global health architecture, including negotiations for a future treaty on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response and revision of the International Health Regulations using targeted amendments. "It is essential that the WHO be placed at the center of global public health issues to help States better prepare for future pandemics and that the institution be strengthened financially and technically to better cope with the multiplication of global challenges that undermine health systems, solidarity and equity as well as the right to health for all.

Minister Lenert also expressed Luxembourg's desire to position itself as a key partner of the WHO within the framework of the World Data Hub, an interactive digital platform for health data on a global scale. Luxembourg has a very complete set of data concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular thanks to large scale testing and analysis of wastewater, and is therefore perfectly suited to this exercise of collection and analysis. data analysis.

Minister Fayot expressed concern about the worrying global health situation, which has deteriorated considerably due to multiple and complex crises. In this context, Minister Fayot underlined the key role of the WHO in the restructuring of the global health system as well as in the consolidation of universal health coverage, allowing equitable access to health services for all. In view of the health crises and the lack of funds in the fight against them, Minister Fayot reaffirmed the support of the Luxembourg Cooperation to the WHO, emphasizing that Luxembourg will continue to devote 15% of its public development aid to health sector. Thus, Luxembourg recently contributed a total of 11.7 million euros to the Global Fund to support the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria and to prevent future pandemics.