Head of the World Health Organisation, WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus while addressing the World Health Assembly Monday stated that deals towards the fight against climate change and poverty five years ago, had suffered retrogression, owing to lack of global oneness.
Dr. Tedros said there had been “great convergence,” globally in 2015 when governments signed the ‘Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),’ the ‘Paris Agreement,’ and the ‘Addis Ababa Action Agenda’ on finance for development.
He said, “Since then, the creeping tides of misguided nationalism and isolationism have eroded that sense of common purpose. The Paris Agreement has been undermined; the commitments made in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda have gone largely unfulfilled; and although there has been progress toward the SDGs, too often our efforts have remained siloed and splintered.”
The global health crises had pushed the SDGs back even further, he said, congratulating the (assumed) new US administration of president-elect Joe Biden.
“However, we must be honest: we can only realise the full power and potential of the SDGs if the international community urgently recaptures the sense of common purpose that gave birth to them. In that spirit, we congratulate President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and we look forward to working with their administration very closely.”
The WHO chief said it was time the world agrees in joint operations to “choose health”.
“It’s time for the world to heal – from the ravages of this pandemic, and the geopolitical divisions that only drive us further into the chasm of an unhealthier, un-safer and unfairer future,” he said.
“The world has reached a fork in the road. We cannot afford to pump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at the same rate and still breathe clean air. We must choose.
“We cannot afford ever-deepening inequalities and expect continued peace and prosperity. We must choose. And we cannot afford to see health merely as a by-product of development, or a commodity that only the rich can afford,” he said. “Today and every day, we must choose health. We’re one big family.”
Ozoemela Chikwas reporting, Obinwannem News