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Permanent Mission of China and the National Health and Family Planning Commission Jointly Hold Reception Marking the 20th Anniversary of Hong Kong's Return to China and Bidding Farewell to WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan

2017/06/24

On 22 June, the Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations Office at Geneva and Other International Organizations in Switzerland and the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China jointly hosted a reception at the Intercontinental Hotel in Geneva to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland and bid farewell to Dr. Margaret Chan, the outgoing Director-General of the World Health Organization. Among the 400 guests attending the reception were senior officials of UNOG, heads and senior officials of international agencies, ambassadors and health officials of other permanent missions, and Chinese nationals working in international organizations.

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In his opening remarks, H.E. Ma Zhaoxu, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations Office at Geneva and Other International Organizations in Switzerland, reviewed the history of Hong Kong’s return to China and the achievements Hong Kong made in the past 20 years. He said the Chinese central government would continue to work with the government and people of the Hong Kong SAR to fully and precisely implement the principle of "One Country, Two Systems" and the Basic Law of the Hong Kong SAR, and further promote Hong Kong’s all-round development. He commended Dr. Chan’s outstanding contribution to the good health of people around the world and China’s cooperation with the WHO and encouraged her to continue contributing to the global health cause.

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Vice Minister Cui Li acknowledged Dr. Chan’s fruitful efforts in the WHO’s institutional development, response to global public health challenges, and implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. She hoped the world would continue to benefit from Dr. Chan’s experience and wisdom in health affairs.

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Dr. Chan said the principle of “One Country, Two Systems ” effectively maintained Hong Kong’s prosperity, stability, and development and enabled her to serve people across the world. With her mandate ending soon, she expressed her gratitude to the Chinese central government for the trust placed in her and to various parties for their excellent collaboration with the WHO.

In a video message, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres praised Dr. Chan’s devotion to work, her pursuit of excellence, her compassion for the people, and her immense contributions to the people around the world. Mr. Guterres wished Dr. Chan even greater success in the future.

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Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General elect, said he had witnessed Hong Kong’s great progress in the past 20 years under the principle of “One Country, Two Systems”. He hailed Dr. Chan’s extraordinary contribution in various fields of global health and vowed to build on Dr. Chan’s good work and enhance the WHO’s cooperation with China under the Belt and Road Initiative.

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A short video of some memorable moments during Dr. Chan’s tenure was played at the reception. Ms. Cui displayed an oil portrait of Dr. Chan, a gift China prepared for the WHO, to the guests at the reception. A photo album capturing some of the highlights of Dr. Chan’s work at the WHO was also presented to her.

In conjunction with the reception, a photo exhibition was held on Hong Kong’s development in different areas since its return to China. The reception was held in a lively atmosphere. The guests praised Hong Kong’s prosperity, stability and development in the past 20 years and wished it an even brighter future.