Israel wishes to congratulate WHO for putting food safety on the world’s health agenda. At the end of the day, all food consumers rely on state authorities for their safety and health.

 Amb Manor addresses World Health Assembly

 

Copyright: Permanent Mission of Israel to the UN, Geneva

Ambassador Eviatar Manor of the Permanent Mission of Israel to the UN in Geneva delivered a statement during the World Health Assembly’s 68th Session at the WHO in Geneva.

Dear President of the World Health Assembly,
Dear Madame Director General, Dr. Margaret Chan,
Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
The new government established in Israel following the March elections has taken office this week. I am making the following statement on behalf of the Minister of Health.

The incoming government will conduct its health policy building on the foundation of a robust legacy of universal coverage of the health services. It forms a part of Israel’s national health insurance which covers all of Israel’s citizens and residents: Jews, Arab Muslims, Christians and Druzes. The professional workforce in the health sector reflects the diversity of Israel’s population, in leadership, management and the practice of medicine.
 
The theme of this year’s world health agenda is food safety. Food security is, of course, essential for every citizen of every country. But so is food quality. We are aware of foodborne diseases and potential threats for outbreak of epidemics that should and can be avoided. Diseases know no borders. In today’s global economy, food originating from agriculture, livestock and industry is produced within a country as well as imported.

In Israel, the government is engaged in an effort to promote better coordination between the various ministries and agencies engaged in the production of food. But we have to allow for increased import of food products as well. The efforts necessary to guarantee food security, safety and quality are, consequently, more elaborate and complex. The end result of all these efforts should be the promotion of health for all inhabitants of the planet. I would like also to point out the bridge-building aspect of the trade in foodstuffs. There is a potential for cross-border collaboration. In the Middle East, and particularly in the relations between Israel and its Arab neighbors, the development of trade in foodstuffs is a bridge to peace.
 
Israel wishes to congratulate WHO for putting food safety on the world’s health agenda. At the end of the day, all food consumers rely on state authorities for their safety and health.
 
Mr. President,
 
Israel has responded to the call of the Director General to confront the scourge of Ebola. Israel has sent fully equipped emergency medical clinics including medical equipment and drugs and protective gears to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, and deployed public health and infectious diseases experts to Cameroon and the Cote d’Ivoire in order to assist in emergency preparedness, in case of outbreaks. It then became the largest donator per capita for fighting Ebola with a donation of 8.75 million dollars.
 
Israel congratulates the Director General for her efforts to reform the WHO system. She has used the challenge of Ebola as an opportunity to further reform the WHO system so that it will be able to cope with the challenges of the future. It goes without saying that WHO has a tradition of a learning organization that improves with time.

Israel had the honor to host in Haifa the task force of the European Environment and Health Process in April 2015. Hundreds of senior officials from environment and health agencies from 50 countries participated in the meeting, which was headed by WHO Regional Director for Europe, Zsuzsanna Jakab. The task force of the European Environment and Health Process provided an opportunity to review achievements and remaining challenges, aimed at improving environmental ills that result in harm to public health. This task force mid-term review provides an opportunity for participants to look at the progress that has been made since the Parma conference five years ago, and what steps must still be taken before the next ministerial conference, set for 2017.
 
The WHO is dear to all the Member States in the six Regions. It is our organization and we the Member States have to contribute to it in times of crisis. However, the capacity of the donor state should be taken into consideration. Likewise the small State of Israel is able to give support to Nepal as it has been done recently. Israel’s expertise is to deploy a field hospital to provide health services to the victims and allocate experts who are able to deal with the health consequence of natural disasters. We call upon the WHO to continue and coordinate such missions in affected countries. The leadership of WHO is necessary and we shall support it.
 
Thank you Mr. President !