(MENAFN) UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivered a powerful message of unity and cooperation as the 76th edition of the World Health Assembly commenced in Geneva on Sunday. In a video address, Guterres called upon member states to continue their collaborative efforts and extend their support to the World Health Organization (WHO) in its mission to ensure the highest standard of health for all.

Highlighting the pressing challenges faced by humanity, Guterres emphasized that the climate crisis, ongoing wars, and conflicts still pose significant threats to millions, if not billions, of lives worldwide. He expressed concern that without concerted action, the remarkable progress achieved over the past decades and the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) could be undermined.

However, the UN chief stressed that the potential setbacks are not inevitable. He underscored that global cooperation remains paramount in preserving the world‘s progress and steering it towards a path of further advancement. Guterres reflected on the founding principles of the United Nations, emphasizing the crucial link between peace and health. He reminded listeners that 75 years ago, nations united and affirmed the fundamental truth that the health of one nation is interconnected with the well-being of all.

Guterres highlighted the remarkable advancements in human health since the establishment of the WHO. Through the collective efforts of nations, significant strides have been made in improving global health outcomes. However, the Secretary-General’s call for collaboration serves as a reminder that there is still much work to be done to ensure equitable access to healthcare, address emerging health challenges, and safeguard the gains achieved thus far.

As the World Health Assembly convenes, Guterres’ rallying call for unity echoes the urgent need for international solidarity and joint action. The outcomes of the assembly and the collective commitment of member states will shape the future trajectory of global health, reaffirming the critical role of collaboration in overcoming shared challenges and promoting the well-being of people worldwide.

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