IHR, pandemic agreement: Malaysia stands for principles of equity, solidarity, says Anwar

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia stands for the principles of equity and solidarity to be operationalised in the revision of International Health Regulations (IHR) and the pandemic agreement, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Acknowledging the challenges in reaching a consensus on the pandemic agreement and amendments to the IHR, the Prime Minister said prioritising the right to health requires collective efforts to address inequities and enhance preparedness for future emergencies.

"I wish to stress that equity must underpin any agreement to meaningfully improve our collective pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.

"Collaboration will be key moving forward and balancing resources with the objective of global public health is therefore essential.

"Only then can we truly address the gaps and inequities in preventing and responding to pandemics and other health emergencies, while safeguarding the sovereign rights of our nation together.

"I am confident that we can make transformative changes with lasting outcomes and legacy,” he said.

He said this in a video shared by the Malaysian Health Ministry Ministry, addressing the 77th World Health Assembly in Geneva on Monday (May 27).

In his address, Anwar also shared the Malaysian government's commitment to ensuring that every individual, regardless of their background or socioeconomic standing, has access to essential and quality healthcare services throughout their lifetime.

Meanwhile, deliberating on the universal right to health, Anwar also urged the international community to do more to stop the atrocities and ensure accountability moving forward following the dire humanitarian catastrophe faced by the Palestinians in Gaza.

"Not only are they facing famine, malnutrition, and diseases, but their hospitals have been bombed by the Israelis, with medical workers and humanitarian volunteers being killed indiscriminately," he said.

On May 24, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad stressed that Malaysia’s involvement in two international negotiation platforms aims to safeguard the nation's public health interests.

He was referring to the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) for crafting an international instrument known as the Pandemic Treaty, and the Working Group on Amendments to the International Health Regulations (WGIHR) for making targeted revisions to the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005). - Bernama

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