WHO chief hopes for ‘historic’ pandemic accord

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A brand new pandemic accord below negotiation should be a “historic settlement” marking a dramatic shift within the method to world well being safety after the COVID disaster, the WHO chief mentioned Sunday.

“We can’t merely keep on as we did earlier than,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus mentioned as he opened the World Well being Group’s annual meeting in Geneva.

WHO’s member states have begun negotiations in direction of a global settlement aimed to make sure the world is healthier outfitted to forestall or extra successfully reply the subsequent time a pandemic hits.

The method continues to be within the early levels, however the intention is for settlement to be reached in time for the subsequent World Well being Meeting, in Might 2024.

“The pandemic accord that member states at the moment are negotiating should be a historic settlement to make a paradigm shift in world well being safety, recognizing that our fates are interwoven,” Tedros mentioned at first of the 10-day gathering.

That was additionally the message from a protracted line of different high-level audio system Sunday.

“I hope the present negotiations on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response lead to a powerful multilateral method that saves lives,” UN chief Antonio Guterres mentioned, talking through video message.

Timor-Leste President Jose Manuel Ramos-Horta in the meantime identified that “each nation, huge or small, wealthy or poor, struggled to mount an enough response to the pandemic”.

“This reminds us that we should construct our home earlier than the storm, not in the course of the storm.”

‘Keep in mind the darkness’

The pandemic has wreaked world devastation and formally killed almost seven million individuals, with the true determine believed to be nearer to twenty million.

Tedros earlier this month declared that the COVID disaster not constitutes a worldwide well being emergency.

However he careworn Sunday that “COVID-19 continues to be with us, it nonetheless kills, it is nonetheless altering and it nonetheless calls for our consideration”.

We could have emerged from “a protracted, darkish tunnel”, he mentioned, “however that is the second to look behind us and bear in mind the darkness of the tunnel, after which … transfer ahead within the mild of the numerous painful classes it has taught us”.

“Chief amongst these classes is that we will solely face shared threats with a shared response.”

If agreed, the pandemic accord will mark solely the second legally-binding well being treaty since WHO was created 75 years in the past.

Tedros highlighted the success of the primary one—the Framework Conference on Tobacco Management adopted precisely 20 years in the past.

Over that point, he identified, smoking prevalence has dropped by one third globally.

“The WHO FCTC resides proof of the ability of worldwide agreements to drive a paradigm shift in world well being,” he mentioned, voicing hope a pandemic accord might do the identical.

“That is the second for us to put in writing a brand new chapter in world well being historical past, collectively.”

© 2023 AFP

WHO chief hopes for ‘historic’ pandemic accord (2023, Might 21)
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