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China to Continue Support for WHO

The Chinese government will continue to support the work of the World Health Organization (WHO) and try to make active contributions to the health cause of mankind, a senior Chinese diplomat said in Geneva on Monday.

"China has had good cooperation with the WHO Secretariat and it will continue such cooperation with the WHO and all its member states," said Li Baodong, Chinese ambassador to the UN office in Geneva.

Li was addressing a week-long session of the WHO Executive Board, which aims to discuss a range of health issues and prepare the agenda for the next World Health Assembly in May.

In a report to the 34-member Board, WHO Director General Dr Margaret Chan highlighted recent public health successes and set out some of the threats to global health, including political instability and civil unrest in some countries and regions.

Li gave high valuation to Dr Chan's report, and expressed hope that under the leadership of Dr Chan, the WHO will keep on strengthening its cooperation with member states and other international organizations and promote the realization of the UN Millennium Goals with its technical advantage.

Li also stressed the importance of the revised International Health Regulations (IHR) which came into force in June last year with an aim to fight against public health emergencies of international concern, including a possible pandemic of human influenza.

"The Chinese government paid high attention to the IHR and made full preparations for its implementation," Li said.

"As one of the countries that have been severely affected by avian influenza, China pays high attention to the prevention of a pandemic," he said.

Li added that the Chinese government is ready to enhance its cooperation with the WHO and its member states and make active efforts for the effective implementation of the IHR.

(Xinhua News Agency January 22, 2008)

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