WHO starts off with a productive session, alarmed by a Zika virus outbreak from China and South Korea

As the formal session of the WHO resumed yesterday, July 13, 2017, five working groups in the committee continued towards the approval of working papers for the agenda topic “Formulating Sustainable Solutions in Addressing the Global Shortage of Clean Water.” Emphasizing the urgency of the issue, the delegate of the Republic of the Philippines opened the session with a speech.

At 10:15 a.m., WHO was alarmed by former WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, through an announcement from Deputy Secretary General Klayton Valenzuela, declaring that Zika virus outbreak is now a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. A crisis committee faced this dilemma, and eventually passed a resolution sponsored by the delegates of UK, France, Germany and others.

Moreover, the afternoon session was mostly spent by the delegates with their respective working groups, preparing to present their drafts the following day.

WHO Chair Carlos Llamas was very proud of the cooperation in his committee saying, “We need extra guidance while conducting committee sessions since there are a lot of delegates without experience, especially with the Rules of Procedure and specificities of the WHO mandate, but overall, the committee was very participative and I think the WHO as a whole was productive.”

Written by: Jhey De Leon

Photos by: Kriston Villas