Historical archive

The Minister of Health's Keynote Address at the 74nd World Health Assembly

Historical archive

Published under: Solberg's Government

Publisher Ministry of Health and Care Services

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

We must be honest.
No country was ready when the crisis hit.
Covid-19 is the biggest health crisis of our time.
Now, we need to end this pandemic and do whatever we can to prepare for and prevent future crisis.

While, as for any other Government, our first priority is to protect our own people, we need global cooperation and solutions in order to do so.
No one is safe before everyone is safe.
The world has brought forward safe and effective vaccines far faster then anyone expected.
Now, we have to step up our common efforts to ensure access to vaccines globally. We must continue to scale up manufacturing capacity. And we must share surplus doses of vaccines. If we don't ensure global access, we will fail.
At the same time, we need continued investment in research and development, to ensure that we have vaccines that can protect against potential immune escape variants.
Norway has supported CEPI in this regard and urges other countries to do the same.

ACT-A has been an important tool. Norway has so far invested 500 million. But more funds are needed.

The evaluations of our handling of this crisis are clear: Urgent action is needed.

We now have a unique opportunity

  • to provide this organisation with the tools needed to prevent and handle future health crisis.
  • to ensure a fully financed WHO, with the authority and independency to lead the world in crisis.

What member states decide that WHO should do, we must fund.

Norway supports a fundamental increase in assessed contributions.

We have no time to lose.
Norway believes a pandemic treaty may be instrumental for our future health crisis architecture.
Such a treaty should ensure full compliance with the IHR, including early access to emerging threats and eqitable access to countermeasures. With WHO at its heart.
This assembly must seize the opportunity and decide on a resolute process with the adoption by WHA next year.

We need to act now to prevent the crisis of tomorrow.
With a strong WHO at the center for building together a healthier, safer and fairer world.

Thank you.