Statement by India at the WHO information session on the draft Global Action Plan to promote the health of refugees and migrants – Delivered by Dr. Sadre Alam, First Secretary

Statement by India at the WHO information session on the draft Global Action Plan to promote the health of refugees and migrants – Delivered by Dr. Sadre Alam, First Secretary

         We thank the Secretariat for presenting the draft Global Action Plan (GAP) to promote the health of refugees and migrants and organizing this information session.

2. At this stage, we have shared our general comments on the initial draft. In this regard, we wish to reiterate the following:

  1. It is universally acknowledged that all human beings, including migrants and refugees, are entitled to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health.
  2. The language of the GAP should be consistent with the two Global Compacts and the agreed language. It cannot be prescriptive or entail any monitoring in keeping with the legally non-binding nature of the compacts.
  3. Appropriate references of the sources including the Global compacts on Migrations and Refugees and other agreed documents all through the text would be useful.
  4. All action to be taken by Member States under the GAP calls for provisioning of adequate means of implementation, support and technical assistance.
  5. The GAP should clarify that actions by Member States would be in accordance with their national laws, policies, contexts and priorities. Also that WHO would offer all necessary support to all Member States, upon their request, to implement the GAP. In this regard, the WHO would also help mobilize all necessary resource, technology, support, cooperation and solidarity of all international stakeholders to genuinely share the health related responsibilities.
  6. The document should acknowledge that it has been prepared by the Secretariat and is not a negotiated text.
  7. The document should not contain elements beyond the mandate of the WHO, the scope of the two compacts and health related issues of migrants and refugees, as universally agreed and understood. There should be no mention of any other category of persons like ‘internally displaced’, ‘forcibly displaced’, ‘people on the move’ etc. which do not have common and agreed definitions and understood very differently and are not the concern of the two compacts. In this regard, it may be needless to draw attention to the specific mandate provided by the WHA resolution 70.15 of May 2017.
  8. Further, it may be worth adding that the healthcare for refugees and migrants can at best be at par with the local population and not at the expense of their healthcare.
  9. We should be fully conscious that the two Global Compacts await formal endorsement or adoption.

3. All these aspects should be reflected generally in the GAP and be specifically included in the introduction, guiding principles, framework of priorities, roles and responsibilities and/or other sections, as appropriate.

4. As the text of the revised draft has been received only two days ago, it is currently being examined and our general and specific comments would be shared in due course.

5. We request the Secretariat to share all revised drafts including its annexes, incorporating all the different comments received by it along with an explanatory note highlighting the changes introduced in the text, well in time, to enable Member States to adequately and meaningfully examine it and provide their comments.

6. We seek greater clarity and agreement on the way forward in terms of process until finalization of the text and eventual consensual adoption by the 72nd World Health Assembly in 2019.

7. India looks forward to working together with other Member States in WHO to take this important agenda forward.

Thank you.

10 October 2018

 

 
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