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Journal No. 2   19 May 2020


This journal is intended to give delegates, representatives and other participants indications of the virtual Health Assembly’s programme of work.

The Journal does not constitute an official record of the Health Assembly’s proceedings. The Journal is published in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

Table of contents

1. Date and working hours

2. Programme of work of the Health Assembly

3. Report of meeting

4. Arrangement for the conduct of discussion in Plenary

5. Announcements


Interpretation will be provided in the official languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish) to help delegates to follow the discussions. Delegates are requested to speak clearly and at a normal speaking pace to enable clear and accurate interpretation through the virtual platform. To ensure accurate and clear interpretation through the virtual platform, copies of all statements should be submitted at least 1 hour in advance by email to [email protected].  Clearly indicate the name of the country delegation/group in the subject line of the email.  


Note: a statement of 2 minutes at normal speaking pace is equivalent to approximately 220 words.

1.  Date and working hours

The Seventy-third World Health Assembly will opened on Monday, 18 May 2020 at 12:00 and will reconvene on Tuesday, 19 May 2020 at 12:00 (CEST).

2.  Programme of work of the Health Assembly

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Plenary meeting


Item 6

Executive Board: election

Item 3 (continued)

Document A73/CONF./1 Rev.1

Items 4 and Item 9 (taken together)

Invited speakers and closure of the Health Assembly

Documents A73/34 and A73/35

3.  Report of meetings

First plenary meeting

High-level welcome

The President of the Seventy-second World Health Assembly opened the segment and invited the Secretariat to moderate the session. Ms Simonetta Sommaruga, President of the Swiss Confederation, delivered her statement as representative of the host country. Mr António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China, Mr Emanuel Macron, President of the Republic of France, Mr Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea, Mrs Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany and Ms Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, addressed the Health Assembly.

The Director-General presented his report on the work of WHO.


Item 1

Opening of the Health Assembly

In the chair: Dr Bounkong Syhavong (Lao People’s Democratic Republic)

President of the Seventy-second World Health Assembly

Dr Bounkong Syhavong opened the Seventy-third World Health Assembly and welcomed the participants to the virtual platform.


Item 1.2

Election of the President of the Seventy-third World Health Assembly

In accordance with Rule 25 of the Rules of Procedure, the President invited the Health Assembly to consider the list of names of delegates proposed for the nominations of President and five Vice-Presidents of the Seventy-third World Health Assembly. In accordance with Rule 78 of the Rules of Procedure, the Health Assembly approved the nomination of Ms Keva Bain (Bahamas) and elected her as President of the Seventy-third World Health Assembly by acclamation. Ms Bain took the chair and announced that her speech would be delivered after consideration of item 1.3, Election of the five Vice-Presidents.

Item 1.3

Election of the five Vice-Presidents of the Seventy-third World Health Assembly

The President invited the Health Assembly to consider the proposals received for the nomination for the offices of Vice-Presidents.

Mrs Jacqueline Lydia Mikolo (Congo)

Mr Robert Ciavatta (San Marino)

Dr Viroj Tangcharoensathien (Thailand)

Mr LI Song (People’s Republic of China)

Dr Akram Eltoum (Sudan)

were elected Vice-Presidents of the Health Assembly by acclamation. The names of the five Vice-Presidents are shown in the order in which they were drawn by lot. The President addressed the Health Assembly.


Consideration of special procedures

The Assembly was invited to consider the special procedures to regulate the conduct of virtual de minimis meetings of the World Health Assembly, as contained in Annex 1 of document A73/33. The report was adopted by the Assembly.



In view of the special procedures adopted by the Assembly, the First Vice-President of the Seventy-second World Health Assembly presented the report on credentials. 180 Member States were found to have credentials  in conformity with the Rules of Procedure of the Assembly. In addition to the oral report, 10 further Member States submitted credentials. Following examination of these credentials, the President of the Seventy-second World Health Assembly found them to be in keeping with the Assembly’s Rules of Procedure.


Item 1.4

Adoption of the agenda

The Assembly was invited to adopt the agendas contained in documents A73/1 and A73/1 Add.1, and consider the proposal for a supplementary agenda item as contained in document A73/1 Add.2.

The President proposed that, in accordance with Rule 12 of the Rules of Procedure, the request for the supplementary agenda item be first considered by the General Committee at the resumed session. The agendas were adopted and the proposal approved.


Item 3

Address by Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus, Director-General

The Director-General introduced this item and informed the Assembly that his earlier address already constituted his report on the work of WHO.

General discussion

The President invited statements by delegations, and asked the Secretariat to manage the session. The delegate of Azerbaijan, and the delegate of Croatia (who spoke on behalf of the European Union and European Region) addressed the Assembly. These speakers were followed by the delegates of Djibouti (who spoke on behalf of the French-speaking Ambassadors of the African Region), Estonia (who spoke on behalf of Nordic/Baltic States), the Netherlands, Tunisia, Singapore, Denmark, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Argentina, the Philippines, Belgium, Kenya, France, Bahamas, South Africa, Poland, Congo (who spoke on behalf of the African Region), Tunisia (who spoke on behalf of the Eastern Mediterranean Region), Botswana, Fiji, Thailand, Colombia, Australia, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, Bhutan, India, Malta, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Norway, Mexico, Canada, the United States of America, Honduras, Zambia, Cuba, Brazil, Peru, Costa Rica, Israel, Georgia, Sri Lanka, Chile, Turkey, Bangladesh, Ghana, Malaysia, Jordan, China, Germany, Lebanon and Sweden.


The President announced that delegations who wished to exercise their right of reply, in accordance with Rule 57 of the Rules of Procedure, would be invited to speak before the closure of the plenary.


The meeting was suspended.

First plenary meeting (resumed)

At the invitation by the Secretariat, the delegation from the Republic of Korea addressed the Assembly, followed by the delegates of Nigeria, Montenegro, Italy, Djibouti (who spoke on behalf of the International French-speaking Organizations), the Netherlands (who spoke as Chair of the Global Health Security Agenda), Myanmar, Algeria, the Russian Federation, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Bahrain, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Syrian Arab Republic, Mozambique, Qatar, Luxembourg, Barbados, Niger, Portugal, Armenia, Iceland, Lithuania, Latvia, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Romania, Ireland, Cambodia, New Zealand, Cyprus, Finland, Nauru (who spoke on behalf of the Pacific Island countries), Antigua and Barbuda (who spoke on behalf of the Organization of Caribbean States), Togo, Haiti, Maldives, Brunei Darussalam, Paraguay, Ethiopia, Gabon, Belarus, Angola and Slovenia.


The meeting was suspended.


Messages from the six WHO Regional Directors was presented.

First plenary meeting (resumed)

The meeting resumed and the delegation from Slovakia addressed the Assembly, followed by the delegates of Turkmenistan, Turkmenistan, Albania, Sierra Leone, Austria, Spain, Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, Uruguay, Viet Nam, Nepal, Guyana, Afghanistan, San Marino, Sierra Leone, Nauru, Mauritius, Egypt, Cabo Verde, Belize, Saint Lucia, Guatemala, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Czechia, Hungry, Greece, Panama, Libya, Dominican Republic, Senegal, Eswatini, Mongolia, Côte d’Ivoire, Japan, Venezuela, Guatemala, Mali, Dominica, Nicaragua, Tonga, Mauritania, Cameroon (on behalf of the African Group of Ambassadors), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica, Tuvalu, the Observer from Palestine, Central African Republic, Benin, and the Observers from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the representatives of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), International Telecommunications Union (ITU), United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and International Organization for Migration (IOM). The President proposed that consideration of agenda item 3 resume at the next Plenary meeting. 


In accordance with Rule 57 of the Rules of Procedure, the delegations of China and the United States of America exercised the right of reply.


The meeting was adjourned.


4.  Arrangement for the conduct of discussion in Plenary

Verbal statements

Delegates are asked to observe the time limit for verbal statements during the virtual sessions. To ensure that statements are interpreted as clearly as possible, delegates are requested to submit a copy of their statements in advance by email to [email protected].

Written statements

Written statements of no more than 600 words in one of the official languages of the Organization may be submitted for posting on the WHO website under agenda item 3 Address of the Director-General on the item on COVID-19, in advance of the opening of WHA73. These will be included in the official record of the meeting, even if the delegation has not been able to deliver the statement live in the virtual meeting. Please send written statements for posting to the WHO website to [email protected].  Indicate the name of the country delegation/group in the subject line of the email.

5.  Announcements


Virtual Meeting Platform for WHA73

Interprefy platform will be used for virtual sessions of WHA73. More information about the platform is available at https://www.interprefy.com/.

In addition to the Interprefy platform, the virtual sessions will also be broadcast on the WHO web site in all six official languages.


Participant types and limits

The platform supports around 300 speakers (able to raise their hand and take the floor) and 2,000 viewers (able to follow the session but unable to take the floor). Sessions will have separate links for speakers and participants. The role of a participant in a session is determined in advance of a session and cannot be switched while it is in progress. Given the limit of 300 speakers, each Member State will have a speaker defined for each of the sessions. The remaining delegates will follow the sessions as viewers. Different speakers can represent a Member State in separate sessions. The name and email address of the person accessing the platform as a speaker for each session should be sent in advance to [email protected].



For support related to the virtual platform, please send an email to [email protected].    

Video streaming

The Plenary sessions will be webcast in the six UN languages. The webcasts can be viewed on Mac and PCs, as well as all mobile devices including iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows-enabled phones.

Arabic: https://player.4am.ch/who/20200518-19_wha73/player.html?lang=ar  

Chinese: https://player.4am.ch/who/20200518-19_wha73/player.html?lang=zh   

English: https://player.4am.ch/who/20200518-19_wha73/player.html?lang=en

French: https://player.4am.ch/who/20200518-19_wha73/player.html?lang=fr   

Russian: https://player.4am.ch/who/20200518-19_wha73/player.html?lang=ru

Spanish: https://player.4am.ch/who/20200518-19_wha73/player.html?lang=es

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