|Speech by Dr Wang Longde, Vice-Minister of Health of China at the 52nd World Health Assembly (May 18, 1999)
Honorable Madame Chairperson,
Honorable Dr Brundtland,
Ladies and gentlemen,
At the outset, the Chinese delegation wishes to extend our warm congratulation to Mrs Roseira on her election as the President of this assembly. It is our belief that under your able leadership this assembly will be crowned with great success.
At the turn of the century, delegates of the WHO Member States once again gather together at the picturesque Geneva Lake for the 52nd World Health Assembly, the very last august gathering of this century. This meeting will be of profound significance for both present and future in guiding and promoting the global health undertakings and meeting the challenges of the coming century. On this occasion, I would like to extend, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, my warmest congratulations on the opening of the 52nd World Health Assembly.
In the past year, under the leadership of Dr Brundtland, WHO went through significant restructuring and reform and made necessary preparations for embracing the broader global health issues and meeting the challenges of the 21st century. The Chinese government highly appreciates and supports the reform process and believes that these reform measures will produce a significant impact on the work of WHO in the years to come.
We have noticed that the Director General has just made an excellent report, in which the Director- General elaborated in great detail on the historical impact of the improvement of health conditions in the 20th century on poverty alleviation and the socioeconomic development of the mankind, and highlighted the various challenges facing the world health development in the new century. Faced with these challenges, the report pointed out, in an unequivocal manner, the four strategic themes that guide the work of WHO and the role of WHO in the global health development. This shows that the new administration of WHO has not only a clear line of reform, but also effective measures as guarantees. Lending great significance to directing the health development of the WHO Member States, the Report injects a source of confidence for all of us in realizing the goals set for the global health development for the first decade of the 21st century.
At present, the health system of China is also undergoing extensive and profound changes. For instance, to make sure that the general public have an access to cost-effective and expedient services, we are now popularizing and extending community health services in no small measure. And this is one of the major components of the health system reform in China. Meanwhile, we are glad to notice that the reform lines and principles of WHO have much in common with those of the health reform in China. This has further cemented our determination in achieving our own reform goals.
The Chinese government highly values the sound cooperative relations between China and WHO. While pursuing a sound development of the health undertakings in China, we will, as always, support WHO in achieving its global programme goals and make our contributions to promoting the health development of mankind in the 21st century.
Thank you all.