WHO Boss reaffirms triple billion target at the 73rd World Health Assembly virtual meeting

WHO Boss reaffirms triple billion target at the 73rd World Health Assembly virtual meeting

The WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in his speech at the 73rd World Health Assembly reaffirmed the organization’s objective to contain the outbreak of the pandemic.   

Two years ago, I presented – and this Assembly approved – the cornerstone of our transformation: WHO’s 13th General Programme of Work.

  • At its heart are the ambitious “triple billion” targets: 
  • 1 billion more people enjoying better health and well-being.
  • 1 billion more people benefiting from universal health coverage;
  • And 1 billion more people better protected from health emergencies;

These are the targets that the world has set itself to achieve by 2023

Since my election at this assembly three years ago, I have made a priority of transforming WHO into an organization that is agile and responsive, focused on outcomes and impact.

But one thing is abundantly clear. The world must never be the same.

We all have lessons to learn from the pandemic. 

The WHO Boss took into cognizance the activities and roles played by the organization and the steps to make the organisation more transparent.

Every country and every organization must examine its response and learn from its experience.

WHO is committed to transparency, accountability and continuous improvement. For us, change is a constant. 

In fact, the existing independent accountability mechanisms are already in operation, since the pandemic started.

The Independent Oversight Advisory Committee has today published its first report on the pandemic, with several recommendations for both the Secretariat and Member States.

In that spirit, we welcome the proposed resolution before this Assembly, which calls for a step-wise process of impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation. 

To be truly comprehensive, such an evaluation must encompass the entirety of the response by all actors, in good faith. 

So, I will initiate an independent evaluation at the earliest appropriate moment to review experience gained and lessons learned, and to make recommendations to improve national and global pandemic preparedness and response.

But one thing is abundantly clear. The world must never be the same.


The WHO director general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and world leaders spoke today via video link to the World Health Assembly. 

We do not need a review to tell us that we must all do everything in our power to ensure this never happens again. 

Whatever lessons there are to learn from this pandemic, the greatest failing would be to not learn from them, and to leave the world in the same vulnerable state it was before. 

Today I am calling on all nations to resolve that they will do everything it takes to ensure that the 2020 coronavirus pandemic is never repeated.

I am calling on all nations to invest in strengthening and implementing the many tools at our disposal – especially the global treaty that underpins global health security: the International Health Regulations.

To be successful, we must all commit to mutual ownership and accountability.

One way to do that, proposed by the Africa Group last year, is through a system of universal periodic review, in which countries agree to a regular and transparent review of each nation’s preparedness.

The World Health Organization will establish an independent and impartial inquiry into the source and handling of the coronavirus outbreak, once the pandemic is brought under control, a virtual meeting of its annual governing body was set to agree on Monday.