The health ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) discussed in their 7th meeting here today the implementation of the decisions of the Supreme Council of the 41st GCC Summit in Al-Ula, which was held in January 2021, particularly the adoption of the general framework for the public health response plan in emergencies, and the adoption of the early health warning system, and approving the establishment of the Gulf Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
At the meeting, which was chaired by the Minister of Health of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Faeqa bint Saeed Al-Saleh, with the participation of the GCC Secretary-General, Dr. Nayef Falah Mubarak Al-Hajraf, the ministers underlined the importance of unifying and coordinating stances as opposed to regional and international cooperation in the health sector, taking into consideration the health challenges facing the world that require strengthening cooperation and partnership relations and raising levels of coordination in all fields, including health, with friendly countries, regional and international entities, and implementing joint action plans as per timetables, in a way that benefits the citizens of the GCC countries and consolidates the role of the GCC in regional and international matters.
During the meeting, several decisions were issued deemed to enhance joint Gulf action in the health field, especially the efforts of the GCC in confronting the Coronavirus pandemic, the pioneering successes, and experiences achieved by the GCC member states in facing the pandemic and the continuation of close coordination between the GCC countries.
The decisions included approving the outcomes of the health technical committees, namely cooperation in the International Health Regulations (2005), preparing guidelines on plans and preparations for responding to epidemics and pandemics, the general framework of the Gulf public health plan for emergency preparedness and response, and unified health procedures at the border ports of the GCC states, the general framework of the public health emergency plan at the GCC airports, and the unified guide for healthy cities in the GCC area.
The ministers also discussed the progress made in implementing the work plan of the Health Ministers Committee (2022-2026), which includes several joint programs and projects aimed at enhancing cooperation and integration among the GCC states in the health field as well as discussing the Gulf strategic plan for the Healthy Cities Program, programs, and events, which will be organized on the Gulf Day for Healthy Cities, slated to take place on the first of March of each year.