WHO Office at the United Nations

World Health Day 2019 commemoration in New York

The World Health Organization office at the United Nations, commemorated World Health Day 2019 on the theme “Universal Health Coverage: Everyone, Everywhere, focusing on Primary Health Care”. Over 100 participants across sectors, including Member States, the UN system, academia, civil society and the private sector joined the lively solidary reception held at the Waterfront Club in New York, to congratulate WHO and reiterate their commitment and support for #HealthForAll and the upcoming UN General Assembly high-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in September 2019.

Mr. Werner Obermeyer, Executive Director a.i. of the WHO Office at the UN moderating the event, acknowledged the gains made in public health, re-emphasized UHC as WHO’s top priority to ensure the health of future generations and the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, and called for political support in achieving #HealthForAll.

A number of esteemed speakers including the 74th President of ECOSOC, H.E. Ms. Inga Rhonda King, and Mr. Kwabena Osei-Danquah, Chef de Cabinet to the President of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly, commended WHO while highlighting the importance of achieving UHC in the context of the sustainable development and calling for support at the highest level for the high-level meeting and #HealthforAll.

The Ambassador of Kazakhstan, H.E. Mr. Kairat Umarov, spoke on the critical role of primary health care in addressing universal health coverage in the context of sustainable development given his country co-hosted the Global Conference on Primary Health Care, marking the 40th anniversary of the landmark Declaration of Alma Ata.

The event included a lively musical performance by a youth band “Rebecca and Band” from the school of Jazz in New York, who also performed their version of Happy Birthday to WHO during the cake cutting ceremony, performed by Ms. King and Mr. Obermeyer. Participants pledged their continuous commitment to support WHO #HealthforAll by joining hands as a symbol of their commitment to work collaboratively towards universal health coverage.