Excellencies, distinguished colleagues and friends,
Good morning, good afternoon and good evening, and thank you for the opportunity of joining you today.
First of all, I would like to offer my deep thanks to Her Excellency President Sirleaf and the Right Honourable Helen Clark for their leadership of the Independent Panel over the past year.
Thank you to both of you for your commitment and dedication to this very important and very difficult task.
My thanks also to each of the panel members, as well as to Anders and his team in the Secretariat, and everyone who contributed to the panel’s work, for their hard work over so many months.
Thank you all for your extensive efforts to collect and analyze such a wealth of information and produce this comprehensive set of materials, in less than a year.
As you know, at last year’s World Health Assembly, Member States asked me to initiate an impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation, including existing mechanisms, as appropriate, to review experience gained and lessons learned from the WHO-coordinated international health response to COVID-19.
After careful consideration and consultation, I asked President Sirleaf and the Right Honourable Helen Clark to take on the task of chairing this evaluation.
Beyond that, this has been an entirely independent process.
They selected the other panel members, drew up the terms of reference, appointed a Secretariat and got on with the work.
We welcome today’s presentation of the panel’s findings and recommendations, and we look forward to the publication of the full report at the World Health Assembly.
The Independent Panel’s report is one of a suite of reports reviewing different aspects of the pandemic, and WHO’s work, including the Review Committee on the Functioning of the International Health Regulations;
The Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee for the WHO Health Emergencies Programme;
The external Evaluation of the Transformation Agenda;
And the Intergovernmental working group on Sustainable Financing.
We look forward to reviewing all of these reports, and to discussing them with our Member States in the coming weeks.
So once again, my deep thanks to the President Sirleaf and the Right Honourable Helen Clark for their leadership, as well as the panel members and Secretariat.
We look forward to working with our Member States to discuss the recommendations of this Panel and the other committees to build a stronger WHO and a healthier, safer, fairer future for all of us.
I thank you.
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