WHO and WMA sign memorandum of understanding

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by the World Health Organisation and the World Medical Association to reaffirm and consolidate co-operation between the two organisations.

At a ceremony at the WHO’s headquarters in Geneva today, the two bodies agreed to foster understanding on topics of common interest, including the development, improvement and protection of health, and action on the social determinants of health.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, and WMA President Dr. Yoshitake Yokokura jointly signed the Memorandum, which states that two priority goals for both organisations are the achievement of Universal Health Coverage and the improvement of emergency preparedness. Within these goals the WHO and WMA also recognized the critical importance of human resources for health, the role of physicians and their organizations.

Dr. Yokokura said ’The WMA has had a long-standing history of collaboration with the WHO, with which it has been in official relations. But today’s Memorandum sets out several specific areas of collaboration on which we can both take action at national regional and global levels’.

These include the realization of Universal Health Coverage for All, with special focus on the role of physicians and their professional organizations, facilitating understanding of the concept and proactive participation and the strengthening education, employment and management of health workers.

Also included are the active promotion of health-related human rights and ensuring the full respect of medical ethics for all people worldwide, including support for the implementation of the Joint UN Statement on Eliminating Discrimination in Health Care Settings by taking action on the Social Determinants of Health.

Finally, the two organisations have agreed on the strengthening and developing of systems of emergency and disaster preparedness at the national and international level with specific focus on the role of physicians and their professional organizations.

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