We shall look at the WHO activities in general and Health and development in particular as a bridge to peace between all the Member States of the Middle East.

 Amb Manor addresses World Health Assembly


Copyright: Israel Mission to the UN, Geneva

Ambassador Eviatar Manor
Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations Office and Specialized Institutions – Geneva

Dear Mr. President,
Dear Madame Director General, Dr. Margaret Chan
Excellencies, Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

To start off let me say that Israel associates itself with the statement of the Moldovan presidency on behalf of the 10 Member States of the South-eastern Europe Health Network, of which Israel has been a Member State for the last two years. Moreover, allow me to stress three points of interest to Israel and the WHO:

First of all, Israel would like to thank Dr Margaret Chan, who has become the first Director General of the WHO to ever visit Israel last month. During this official visit, you, Dr. Chan, have been able to realize how development goes hand in hand with the upgrading and strengthening of the health care system and also the interchangeability and mutual interaction between health, intellectual wealth and economic growth. We, in Israel, believe that peace between nations who share borders or who live in the same region is a huge contributor to the development of each country, the whole region as well as global prosperity.

Through your visit to Israel, Mrs. Director General, accompanied by the respectable regional directors Mrs. Jakab and Dr. Al’wan of the European and the Eastern Mediterranean Regions, you have delivered a strong message. The message is that we shall look at the WHO activities in general and Health and development in particular as a bridge to peace between all the Member States of the Middle East. Moreover the WHO, through the International Health Regulations, gives also an opportunity of communication between neighboring countries with the coordination of the WHO. We believe that these ideas can contribute and be part of the coming new global development goals for the sake of all humanity.

Secondly, we can build on the experience of the previous Millennium Development Goals of which four out of ten were connected to Health and indirectly to health care services. All of us Member States of the WHO should join hand in hand under the leadership of the WHO to protect our Health System and ensure universal health coverage especially in this time of economic austerity. It is true that the national health systems as well as the WHO should be more efficient and effective. Israel congratulates the WHO for the reform done in the WHO system as a model for all of the Member States.

But this is also the time to share experiences between different countries and especially between adjacent countries on how to cope with this dire economic situation we face today and pray for it to change soon to one of economic growth. At the same time, as we intend to learn from the experience of other Member States, we offer to share the technologies that have been developed by the Israeli Health Care System, which is known for its achievements in public health, IT (Information Technologies), health economics and emergency preparedness, amongst others.
Thirdly we believe that the next generation of Global Development Goals should have the potential to take care of people, the environment and natural resources in a sustainable way. A strong political leadership by our leaders is an important factor, but cooperation between Member States has a key-role as well. Health can be both an enabler and a beneficiary of such cooperation.

Therefore, Mr. President, Israel which is located in an arid part of the world can argue that fresh and clean water is a global health issue as much as food and especially food security. Water and food are interrelated, as they have been a threat to peace in the past, but we have and can make them a bridge to peace and health in the future by putting this issue in the development goals. The next step will be to utilize all the new technologies to produce drinking water on the one hand and to treat wastewater and recycle water in order to produce food as well as turning deserts into green area. Cooperation is needed and Israel can and will contribute its share.

To conclude, Mr. President, we in Israel are of the opinion that the formulation of the next generation of Global Development Goals is an open ended opportunity to enshrine the role of Health in the Global sustainable growth. We have made progress in successfully implementing the current Millennium Development Goals. Health and related subjects figure prominently on the agenda. More could and should be done to join public health, medical technologies, information technologies, water and food security for the benefit, health and wealth of all our peoples.

Thank you Mr. President!