The World Health Assembly adopted yesterday a resolution critical of Israel entitled “Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan.” This is the only country-specific resolution in a week-long meeting of health expects which is meant to address issues such as diabetes, heart disease, cancers, tuberculosis, hepatitis, newborn health, nutrition and vaccine-preventable diseases.
Syria had the audacity to claim that “the health conditions of the Syrian population in the occupied Golan continue to deteriorate,” because of Israel’s “inhumane practices.” This, at a time when more than 160,000 are estimated to have been killed in the country, and millions of others are denied basic health services and food, for which there is no WHO resolution.
The text of the resolution, tabled by Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen, is shorter and contains milder language compared to the one from last year. Yet, it is regrettable that anti-Israel bias continues to poison UN meetings, no matter the topic or context.
The vote count was 105 votes in favor to 5 votes against, with 6 abstentions and 60 absent, as follows:
Yes: Algeria; Argentina; Austria; Azerbaijan; Bahrain; Bangladesh; Belarus; Belgium; Benin; Bhutan; Bolivia; Botswana; Brazil; Brunei Darussalam; Bulgaria; Chile; China; Costa Rica; Croatia; Cuba; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Democratic People’s Republic of Korea; Denmark; Djibouti; Ecuador; Egypt; Estonia; Finland; France; Gabon; Germany; Greece; Guatemala; Guinea; Honduras; Hungary; Iceland; India; Indonesia; Iran; Iraq; Ireland; Italy; Jamaica; Japan; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Kuwait; Latvia; Lebanon; Liberia; Libya; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Malaysia; Maldives; Mali; Malta; Mauritania; Mexico; Monaco; Montenegro; Morocco; Mozambique; Namibia; Netherlands; Nicaragua; Niger; Nigeria; Norway; Oman; Pakistan; Peru; Poland; Portugal; Qatar; Republic of Korea; Republic of Moldova; Romania; Russian Federation; Saudi Arabia; Senegal; Singapore; Slovakia; Slovenia; South Africa; Spain; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Sweden; Switzerland; Syrian Arab Republic; Thailand; the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; Tunisia; Turkey; Uganda; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; Uruguay; Venezuela; Viet Nam; Yemen; Zimbabwe.
No: Australia; Canada; Israel; Papua New Guinea; United States of America.
Abstentions: Andorra; Armenia; Burundi; Colombia; Congo; New Zealand.
Absent: Afghanistan; Albania; Angola; Bahamas; Barbados; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Burkina Faso; Cabo Verde; Cambodia; Cameroon; Chad; Cook Islands; Côte d’Ivoire; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Dominican Republic; El Salvador; Equatorial Guinea; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Fiji; Gambia; Georgia; Ghana; Guyana; Haiti; Kenya; Kiribati; Kyrgyzstan; Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Lesotho; Madagascar; Malawi; Mauritius; Mongolia; Myanmar; Nepal; Panama; Paraguay; Philippines; Rwanda; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Samoa; San Marino; Sao Tome and Principe; Serbia; Seychelles; Sierra Leone; Solomon Islands; South Sudan; Suriname; Swaziland; Timor-Leste; Togo; Tonga; Trinidad and and Tobago; Turkmenistan; Tuvalu; United Republic of Tanzania; Uzbekistan; Zambia.