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WHO Executive Board 148: Keeping CVD at the center of the global health debate

These strong words from Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organization, may best summarize the 148th Executive Board of the WHO: “The world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure – and the price of this failure will be paid with lives and livelihoods in the world’s poorest countries.”

The global response to the COVID-19 pandemic dominated the weeklong agenda, and delegates from countries and civil society organizations alike repeatedly expressed their growing concerns about the lack of progress on combatting the spread of the disease and the inequitable distribution of vaccines. However, the debate ended on a positive note: the Member States indicated a willingness to negotiate an international treaty on emergency preparedness to prevent a similar tragedy in the future.

The World Heart Federation participated in the spirited debate with a number of official statements throughout the week:

WHF was proud to represent our Members and keep CVD and circulatory conditions at the center of the global health debate. We also worked closely with partners in the NCD space to break down disease siloes and speak with one voice on the most pressing issues on the Executive Board agenda, in spite of increasing technical barriers to participation inherent to the new virtual format of the Governing Bodies meetings.

The debate will continue at the 74th World Health Assembly, scheduled to take place from 24 May – 1 June 2021.