WHO Chief Urges Urgent Action on Global Pandemic Deal

Mon May 27 2024
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GENEVA: The World Health Organization (WHO) chief on Monday urged countries to nail down a landmark global pandemic deal on handling of future pandemics after they missed a hard deadline.

WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, called on countries to expedite negotiations for a global agreement on pandemic response. As the annual World Health Assembly commenced, Tedros emphasized the urgent need for a comprehensive pact to address future pandemics effectively.

The failure to reach a consensus ahead of the assembly, despite years of deliberation, underscored the complex challenges faced in forging binding commitments on pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response. Tedros expressed confidence in securing an agreement, highlighting the determination of nations to navigate the intricate technical, legal, and political aspects of the negotiations.

Acknowledging the immense efforts of negotiators who worked tirelessly, often into the early hours of the morning, Tedros commended their dedication amidst a backdrop of misinformation that threatened to derail progress. Despite the setback, countries reaffirmed their commitment to continue pushing for an accord. Negotiators are scheduled to present the outcome of talks to the assembly on Tuesday.

While the deadline was missed, Tedros urged delegates to maintain their resolve, emphasizing that the solution lay within their collective determination. He stressed the importance of seizing the opportunity to shape a robust framework for pandemic response.

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