– Mexico promotes the strengthening of regional cooperation
By Dr Jorge Carlos Alcocer Varela, Mexico’s Minister for Health
MEXICO CITY, Mexico – Mexico is convinced that through multilateral cooperation we can face and solve great challenges in the Americas, such as those due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to leave no one behind, and leave no one out, as a principle that has become the flag of the fight on all fronts, including health as one of the most relevant issues today.
The Mexican government has always supported the sum of efforts between countries, in order to face the terrible consequences of physical, environmental and social disasters, promoting international cooperation in health, leading initiatives to promote equitable access to medicines, vaccines and medical supplies; as well as the sharing of regulatory frameworks, information and experiences for the strengthening of regional capacities.
Mexico’s multilateral commitment was demonstrated at the last 75th World Health Assembly, in which our country was recognized for the implementation of policies aimed at protecting the health and well-being of the population. A recent example is the Special Recognition Award that the World Health Organization (WHO) awarded to the president of the Republic, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, with the aim of recognizing the measures that have been taken in the country for the control of tobacco, due to the execution of policies, and measures to ensure the progress of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and its guidelines.
Similarly, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) presented on June 1st the profiles of the candidates who, nominated by their countries, are contending for the leadership of this institution and who, for five years, will have the great opportunity of directing the organization and adapting it to the current and future challenges and needs.
Mexico, through coordination between the ministry of health and the ministry of foreign affairs, presented the candidacy of Dr Nadine Gasman Zylbermann, current president of the National Institute for Women (INMUJERES), who has achieved concrete results in the advancement in gender equality and the full exercise of all the rights of girls, adolescents and women.
Dr Gasman’s nomination responds to her extensive experience, both nationally and internationally, in the design, execution and evaluation of health policies and programs, as well as her solid training and experience as an active and tireless defender of people rights.
Dr Gasman has expressed the need to strengthen the institution, to recognize what works for the region, and to set new objectives for the identified challenges, with clear, effective, quality budgets and, especially, by listening to the needs of the countries of the region, since it is urgent for PAHO to resume its leadership in a strategic and equitable manner, so that the countries of the region can overcome the consequences of the pandemic and other diseases.
Thus, the ministry of health of Mexico encourages her participation in this process, since her position is undoubtedly aligned with the commitment that our country has with the programs and strategies of PAHO, and especially with the vision that is expected from the organization in the medium and long term.
As she herself will announce at the Candidates’ Forum, which will take place on June 24, her proposal aims to transform and innovate the organization based on regional needs, as well as the construction of a new social pact for inclusive universal health, and with greater closeness between the Member States and sustainable health systems.
Her strategic lines are focused on promoting comprehensive health services, promoting mental health, building a regional regulatory mechanism, fostering the creation of care schemes, guaranteeing access to sexual and reproductive health, advancing in the elimination of intersectional discrimination and violence against women; contributing to the strengthening of human resources in health, amongst other priorities.
Likewise, this candidacy encourages the generation of strategic alliances to stimulate projects such as the Health Self-sufficiency Plan of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), in which PAHO is essential in reinforcing the capacities of sanitary regulation, research, development and production of supplies from the countries; as well as developing regional capacities that allow an effective and timely response to various contexts.
The election for the leadership of PAHO will take place at the Thirtieth Pan American Health Conference, from September 26 to 30, 2022, which will be a crucial moment in determining the future of the organization and in which Mexico continues to bet on strengthening the regional cooperation to achieve the well-being of all.
Article originally posted in Spanish.