Addressing the opening of a World Health Assembly session in Geneva on Sunday, President Zoran Milanovic said he was following the attacks at hospitals and healthcare institutions in Ukraine with great sorrow and dismay, however, he added, this was not the only crisis that deserved global attention.
This year’s session of the Health Assembly focuses on the theme of “Health for Peace, Peace for Health” and will run from the 22-28 May at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The war in Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic are also the topics on the agenda of the ongoing gathering.
Commenting on the theme of the meeting, President Milanovic said that it evoked memories of the shelling of hospitals, healthcare institutions and ambulances and suffering of civilians during the 1991-1995 Homeland War in Croatia.
At that time even children’s hospitals were not safe havens, he recalled.
Today it is with great sorrow and dismay that Croatia is following the attacks against hospitals and healthcare institutions in Ukraine. However, this is not the only crisis that the world is facing, he added.
The developments in Ukraine are perhaps in the greatest focus of interest, however, there are many other conflicts occurring on the global level which may also deserve our equal support and attention, said Milanovic.
He called for stronger and more inclusive healthcare architecture and for bracing for future threats to public health.
The Croatian president said that the COVID-19 pandemic had exposed great weaknesses in the global health management.
On Sunday morning, Milanovic met with the World Health Organisation director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and expressed support for his reelection to this post.
Also on Sunday, Ghebreyesus bestowed the WHO Director-General’s Health Leaders Award on Milanovic’s wife, Sanja Music Milanovic, a doctor, for her long-standing promotion of health. The ceremony was held before the third edition of the event called Walk the Talk in Geneva.