Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa

thank you I would like to welcome this

opportunity to address the World Health

Assembly we are in the midst of the most

serious public health emergency our

world has experienced in over 100 years

containing the corona virus pandemic has

dwarfed all other issues facing the

international community and individual

countries the pandemic has profound

social political economic and security

implications for all of us it is

impacting on human health the economies

of all affected countries and the

livelihoods of millions of people

although the virus has affected both

developed in developing countries it is

the poor who suffer the most the

pandemic has highlighted to the

dangerous and growing inequality that

exists between countries and within them

the healthcare systems of many countries

are struggling to cope some have been

weakened by underfunding and neglect

others are under pressure because they

were designed to serve the select few

the pandemic has devastated the

livelihoods of millions of people in

many countries the global recovery

depends on our ability to accept the

reality that this virus will be with us

for some time in that we need to prepare

to adapt accordingly the social

distancing hygiene and other protocols

recommended by the World Health

Organization must become part of our

everyday lives

Africa affirms its full support for the

World Health Organization

which has been key in guiding the

international response to the pandemic

the World Health Organization has been

instrumental in providing guidance and

support to African governments Africa is

extremely vulnerable to the ravages of

this virus and needs every possible

support and assistance the African Union

has taken very deliberate steps to

respond to the scourge the African Union

has made a call for developing countries

to be assisted in their efforts to

combat the pandemic and to rebuild their

economies this assistance needs to

include debt relief it also needs to

include assistance with regards to

diagnostic and therapeutic medical

supplies to turn back the frontiers of

the pandemic we must also deep an

international collaboration as well as

solidarity around issues like research

and development and investment we fully

support the initiative by the World

Health Organization together with many

other governments in assisting the

developing countries for its part South

Africa is participating in several

research initiatives we must ensure that

there is equitable access to medical

equipment technologies in all respects

in this final decade towards the

attainment of the sustainable

development goals we must press ahead

with our goal of making universal

healthcare reality for all the people of

the world and no one must be left behind

the virus has demonstrated the essential

value of universal health coverage and

this is where we need full solidarity

let us continue to be Bo

and courageous in confronting this


let us continue to collaborate and act

in solidarity in the interests of the

millions of people around the world I

thank you