Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela condemned the loss of human lives during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and underlined his support for the Ukrainian people, in his speech at the 75th World Health Assembly, organised by WHO in Geneva.
According to a statement from the ministry, Hadjipantela spoke about his memories as a refugee after the Turkish invasion of 1974, stating he fully understands what those displaced by the war are experiencing, especially in the field of health.
Cyprus, he said, recognises the important humanitarian role of the WHO in ensuring access to health services in the midst of conflict, and welcomes its efforts to oversee the operation of sanitary facilities in war zones.
Referring to the issue of the Covid-19 pandemic, Hadjipantela said Cyprus shares the view that the methodology for the international response to health emergencies should be re-evaluated, as the pandemic has challenged the resilience of systems negatively affected economic growth and social cohesion worldwide.
Hadjipantela added that Cyprus welcomes the decision of the November 2021 General Assembly, which prepared the ground for a global system. “We strongly support a binding agreement to manage pandemics and mitigate their effects, with the aim of enhancing preparedness and response. No one is safe until we are all safe,” he said.
In closing, Hadjipantela reiterated the belief that only through peace can the common goals of strengthening public health and ensuring right of access and prosperity for all, be achieved.