Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev spoke at the opening of the Special Session of the WHO World Health Assembly
November 29, 2021
Geneva, Switzerland
Welcoming the participants in the World Health Assembly, Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev noted the critical importance of combating the COVID-19 pandemic. The special session is being held only for the second time in the history of WHO, and this fact reflects the importance of this problem.
-“WHO has played a leading role in this unprecedented global fight in support of public health. All WHO Member States and their health systems have experienced and continue to experience severe shocks. As new and dangerous strains of the coronavirus begin to spread rapidly around the world, the number of COVID-19 cases is expected to rise significantly in the coming weeks. A new threat is posed by the Omicron strain, recently identified by South African researchers, – said Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev.
 The President stressed that the pandemic has highlighted many shortcomings in international cooperation. The socio-economic consequences of the crisis also require a profound rethinking of the social structure at all levels. The pandemic has confirmed the need for a new global approach based on solidarity and a more effective system for tackling biological challenges.
   – “First of all, we need to close the gaps that made us vulnerable to the virus. Therefore, we have gathered  for the sole purpose of considering the development of a WHO convention or international instrument on pandemic preparedness and response in this Special Session. Let me thank the working group of the 74th meeting of the World Health Assembly for the preparatory work and report. Kazakhstan approves the proposals to the WHO convention aimed at increasing pandemic preparedness and response”, – the Head of State noted.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said that Kazakhstan supports WHO and considers this organization as a reliable partner. He praised the personal contribution of the General Director of the organization in the fight of the world community against the coronavirus.
– “The current pandemic is not exclusively a health emergency. Many would agree that the crisis exposed not only structural weaknesses within countries and national health systems, but also serious systemic inequalities at the global level. That is why Kazakhstan stands for a fair distribution of vaccines in the world and actively promotes this. We fully support the WHO strategy to ensure global vaccination against COVID-19 by mid-2022”, – the Kazakhstan President  said.
The head of state told the assembly participants about the development of the QazVac vaccine and its successful modification against the new Delta strain. The Kazakhstani vaccine is not only effectively used in our country, but also received approval in other countries of Central Asia.
“Globally, as in any village or city, our prosperity and well-being depends on our health. And our health depends on solidarity and a coordinated response to common threats. I urge all countries to unite to achieve their goals under the auspices of the World Health Organization”, – Kassym-Jomart Tokayev addressed the assembly participants.