WHO chief Tedros pushes for pandemic treaty at World Health Assembly

WION Web Team
Geneva Published: May 31, 2021, 09:18 PM(IST)

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference in Geneva. Photograph:( Reuters )

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The participating nations however haven't yet created an international treaty as they urged Tedros to convene a special session of the assembly in late November to discuss the issue.

In his closing address at the annual World Health Assembly held virtually, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said "a pandemic treaty would foster improved sharing, trust and accountability."

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Tedros said the treaty should ensure political and financial commitment while calling for a "truly representative and inclusive" agreement.

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The participating nations however haven't yet created an international treaty as they urged Tedros to convene a special session of the assembly in late November to discuss the issue.

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"We look forward to discussing this idea further with member states at a special session of the World Health Assembly in November," the WHO chief said.

Tedros called for all 194 member states to commit to supporting the target of vaccinating at least 10 per cent population by the end of September and 30 per cent by the end of the year.

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"We will still face the same vulnerabilities that allowed a small outbreak to become a global pandemic," Tedros said, adding, "one day the pandemic will be behind us, but the psychological scars will remain for those who have lost loved ones."

"The questions the pandemic is asking us cannot simply be answered with new institutions, mechanisms, facilities or processes," Tedros told the assembly in his closing remarks while adding,"the challenges we face are profound, and so must be the solutions we design."

A panel headed by ex-New Zealand PM Helen Clark and ex-president of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf called for a swifter response to future pandemic even as Germany's health ministry official Björn Kümmel said the world was unprepared as it was hit by the virus.

(With Agency inputs)

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