Ukraine Allies Name On World Well being Meeting To Condemn Russian “Aggression”

Ukraine Allies Name On World Well being Meeting To Condemn Russian “Aggression”

World Well being Meeting delegates minutes after votes on competing resolutions on the well being disaster in Ukraine final yr.

Europe, the US, Ukraine and its allies have submitted a draft decision to the World Well being Meeting (WHA) calling on the 194 member states of the World Well being Group (WHO) to sentence the well being disaster brought on by Russia’s “continued aggression towards Ukraine.”

The EU-led draft, printed on Monday, is a near-identical duplicate of the decision condemning Russian “aggression” handed by the WHA final yr. They even share the identical title.

The decision urges Russia to “instantly stop any assaults on hospitals and different well being care services,” and to guard “civilians, well being and humanitarian staff.”

Over 22,000 civilian casualties have been documented by the UN Workplace of the Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights since Russia invaded Ukraine in February final yr. Over 8,000 of them have been killed.

Russia responded by submitting a draft decision of its personal. The decision, co-sponsored by Syria, makes no point out of Russia’s position within the well being disaster in Ukraine. An analogous decision submitted final yr failed, receiving simply 15 votes in favour.

The Russian draft expresses “grave concern on the deteriorating humanitarian state of affairs in and round Ukraine” and calls for “all events involved to respect their obligations beneath worldwide humanitarian and human rights regulation.”

It additionally strongly condemns “assaults directed towards civilians and well being objects.” Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the invoice’s co-sponsor, used chemical weapons towards civilians within the ongoing civil battle.

The WHO surveillance system for assaults on well being care (SSA) lists 974 confirmed assaults on well being services in Ukraine for the reason that begin of the Russian invasion, killing 101 medical personnel.  WHO European Regional Director Dr Hans Kluge has known as the Russian onslaught the “largest assault on well being care on European soil for the reason that Second World Struggle.”

The Russian decision criticizes the SSA, saying the database “doesn’t replicate successfully all of the incidents with assaults on healthcare services” – an odd alternative of phrases for the nation chargeable for their destruction.

WHO tip-toes a superb line, however Ukraine well being disaster in bounds

The Russian delegation protested a US assertion in assist of Ukraine, calling on the chair to “ask individuals to talk about well being.”

The WHO has had a tough time staying politically impartial amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A year-long strain marketing campaign from EU states succeeded in forcing the closure of WHO’s non-communicable illnesses workplace in Moscow. The closure, introduced earlier this month, was accompanied by the announcement that the workplace shall be relocated to Copenhagen subsequent yr.

The usage of the phrase “invasion” in a WHO standing report on the group’s emergency response in Ukraine prompted a conflict at this yr’s Govt Board assembly, the place Director-Normal Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus vehemently defended his alternative in response to Russian allegations that the report had been politicized.

“I couldn’t discover another phrase that may signify it as a result of it’s the reality,” Tedros mentioned. “What may I say?”

Interventions in plenary classes calling out Russia’s position within the well being disaster in Ukraine have to this point been upheld by World Well being Meeting President Dr Christopher Fearne, regardless of Russian protests.

“We’re not in New York, we’re on the earth well being meeting,” the Russian delegation mentioned in response to a press release by the US that its invasion of Ukraine violated the constitution of the United Nations. “We’re prepared to debate the whole agenda, however not … any problems with aggression, or no matter these nations are saying.”

Fearne known as the well being disaster in Ukraine “clearly a well being matter related to this meeting”.

“In reality,” he added, “we’re to debate it in a while this week.”

Picture Credit: Health Policy Watch .

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