The 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA73) opened on Monday in a virtual de minimis session due to restrictions imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO), which is normally convened annually in Geneva, Switzerland.
During the opening of the Health Assembly, Keva L. Bain, ambassador and permanent representative of The Bahamas to the United Nations Office in Geneva, was elected president of the Assembly.
In her presidential opening address, Ambassador Bain congratulated Dr. Bounkong Syhavong, minister of health of the Laos People’s Democratic Republic, for his eloquent leadership as president of the 72nd World Health Assembly, and expressed her gratitude to the government and the people of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas for the privilege of serving in this capacity.
Ambassador Bain highlighted the critical role of the WHO in steering the response efforts to COVID-19, while balancing its mandate in meeting health challenges such as chronic non-communicable diseases.
The WHA73 will take place over a two-day period focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs congratulated Bain on the “wonderful achievement” and wished her well as she “proudly represents The Bahamas in this timely and significant area of international discourse”.