Vice-President Shakirov addresses health conference and IPA CIS session in St. Petersburg

SAINT PETERSBURG, 26 November 2021 – Vice-President and Special Representative on Sustainable Development Goals Askar Shakirov addressed on behalf of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly on Thursday in Saint Petersburg the high-level International Conference on Universal Health Coverage and Sustainable Development Goals, co-organized by the Interparliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States (IPA CIS) and the World Health Organization (WHO). 

With the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating social inequalities and urging for increased resilience-building, the conference aimed at discussing and exchanging best practices on legislative efforts on enhancing access to healthcare systems. In particular, it focused on the right to health and on the need for universal health coverage, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda and SDG number 3. 

emb img shakirovVice-President and Special Representative Askar Shakirov addressing the high-level International Health Conference, St. Petersburg, 25 November 2021Vice-President Shakirov informed about the increased attention of the OSCE PA on this topic. He emphasized the role of parliamentarians in promoting relevant legislation, exercising oversight and mobilizing adequate resources for healthcare policies. "We have the power to ensure that our healthcare strategies are developed on the basis of inclusivity and equality," he said, and called for increased international co-operation on the matter. In particular, he urged to leave politics and geopolitics out of the health debate and join forces. 

On the margins of the conference, Vice-President Shakirov held a number of meetings with high-level parliamentary interlocutors as well as with international experts, including the Regional Director for Europe of the World Health Organization, Hans Kluge. The latter welcomed the recent engagement of the OSCE PA on the health-security agenda, and the sides agreed to establish regular contacts and develop a productive cooperation.   

Today, Vice-President Shakirov also represented the OSCE PA at the 53rd Plenary Session of the IPA CIS. In a brief address, he recalled the many assets of parliamentary diplomacy and the importance of multilateralism, advocated for dialogue, including on topics of disagreement, and emphasized the readiness to work together on issues that are high on the agendas of both organizations, such as the fight against terrorism, the protection of the environment, and health.

Shakirov was accompanied in Saint Petersburg by Advisor Guido Almerigogna from the OSCE PA International Secretariat, directly representing Secretary General Roberto Montella. 



Nat Parry

Head of Communications and Press

Office: +45 33 37 80 55
Mobile: +45 60 10 81 77
Email: [email protected]

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