HE Abdulrahman bin Mohamed Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention (MoHAP), has once again invited GCC Health Ministers to attend the upcoming 28th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP 28) taking place from November 30 to December 12, 2023, in the UAE.
The conference is expected to strengthen the UAE's global leadership position in climate action and sustainable development, in line with the vision and directives of its wise leadership. It also comes in line with its commitment to fostering partnerships and cooperation with the international community, particularly in areas related to sustainable development and climate action.
The Minister's invitation was extended during the 9th Meeting of the GCC Health Ministers Committee, held recently in Oman, in the presence of GCC Health Ministers. The UAE delegation was led by HE Al Owais.
MoHAP Minister stressed that the conference, for the first time in its history, will designate December 3, 2023, as Health Day, where health ministers from most countries of the world will meet to exchange ideas, views, and experiences and develop future plans to address climate change globally. They will discuss how to ensure food security, expand access to healthcare services for all, and place health at the forefront of climate discussions. Additionally, their collective efforts will be directed towards the establishment of equitable and climate-resilient health systems."
"Strengthening a healthy response to climate change is crucial, as the rise in heat waves and the proliferation of transmitted infectious diseases increasingly jeopardize individual and community health. This situation highlights the imperative to establish health systems that are resilient to the impacts of climate change," Al Owais said.
The UAE's participation in the Gulf meeting underscores its commitment to supporting joint Gulf initiatives. It also aims to expedite effective coordination among GCC countries by reinforcing cooperative ties, primarily focusing on the health sector. This emphasis on health is part of a broader effort to advance sustainable development across various sectors, ultimately enhancing the quality of life and well-being of the Gulf society at large.
Consolidated joint efforts
The Minister of Health commended the valuable efforts and tangible results achieved through addressing joint health projects and lauded the significant progress made by the GCC countries to develop outstanding Gulf health models and sustainably foster the prosperity of Gulf society.
Al Owais noted that the UAE holds in high regard the crucial role played by committees that originate from the GCC to enhance coordination among member states. Through consolidated joint efforts in health projects, these committees contribute significantly to improving the health systems performance within the GCC countries and identifying as well as implementing optimal modes of cooperation and integration, all under the umbrella of a unified Gulf health agenda.
The 9th meeting of the GCC Health Ministers Committee had a comprehensive agenda covering various critical aspects of healthcare in the Gulf region. The agenda included follow-up on Supreme Council decisions in the health field, implementing International Health Regulations, initiatives for healthy cities, and the registration and classification of health specialties. The meeting also involved strategic dialogues between GCC countries and brotherly and friendly nations in the health field, as well as discussions regarding the establishment of the Gulf Virtual Health Complex.
Furthermore, the topics addressed during the meeting extended to matters such as the Gulf Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the expatriate screening project, the unified procurement programme, the registration of medical devices and supplies, and the registration of veterinary preparations. Administrative and financial affairs were also on the agenda, all aimed at enhancing the Gulf health sector and raising the efficiency of health services provided in the GCC countries to align with the best international practices.