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Launch of the WHO Global Digital the Certification Network

Updated: Jul 19, 2023

The pioneering digital partnership we are launching today is the opening of a new chapter in our partnership. The WHO is a cornerstone of the global health architecture and an indispensable ally for our European Health Union. For the European Health Union, today is also an important day for our contribution to global health. A central pillar of the EU's COVID response, the EU Digital COVID certificate is being scaled up to global level. It was developed in record time in the most difficult period of the pandemic. This unique open-source system was built on the power of science to get our economies and societies moving again. It showed our citizens the light at the end of the tunnel and protected public health amid the uncertainty of the pandemic. This EU success story quickly became a global standard. We worked hard with our international partners to ensure that their national certificates could be recognised under the EU COVID Certificate framework. Today, the framework has already been taken up by almost 80 countries. It is truly an example of what we can achieve when the world comes together. I am delighted that as of 1 July, the World Health Organisation will take up the framework of the EU Digital COVID Certificate. Although COVID-19 is no longer a “public health emergency of international concern”, this new system will remain a key part of our global preparedness to face future health threats. And through this system, we will build a genuine world standard in digital health documentation. Its global successor, the WHO Global Digital Health Certification Network, is the new chapter in the development of digital health. As the pandemic has shown us all very clearly, digital health has the ability to transform healthcare systems around the world and deliver better healthcare to citizens. To end, allow me to say a few words on our cooperation with the WHO in advancing global health more generally. I have said many times that a strong, accountable and well-resourced WHO must be the leading authority in a reinforced global health architecture. The EU will continue to play its part towards this central objective in the negotiations of the International Pandemic Agreement and the amendments to the International Health Regulations. Dr Tedros, I would personally like to thank you for your cooperation, for your leadership and valuable help during the pandemic but also to arrive to today's good news. I look forward to continuing our close collaboration through the strategic dialogue between the Commission and the WHO. I believe that through the difficult last 3.5 years, the EU and WHO have come out stronger, more determined and more united to improve global health. Our work now continues to make this a reality and give hope to citizens worldwide.

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