World Health Organization members agree response probe

(BBC) – World Health Organization (WHO) member states have agreed to set up an independent inquiry into the global response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The resolution, approved without objection by the WHO’s 194-member annual assembly meeting virtually in Geneva, also allows for the inquiry to look into the health body’s own role.

The United States in particular has been highly critical of its response. The EU presented the resolution on behalf of 100 nations.

What is in the resolution?

It calls for an “impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation” of the international response.

This will also focus on the WHO’s “timelines pertaining to the Covid-19 pandemic”. The body has faced criticism that it was late to declare a health emergency.

The resolution also calls for the world to ensure “transparent, equitable and timely access” to any treatments or vaccines, and pushes for the WHO to investigate the “source of the virus and the route of introduction to the human population”.

“As I see no requests for the floor, I take it that there is no objection and the resolution is therefore adopted,” declared the assembly’s president, Keva Bain, the Bahamas ambassador.

Why is the WHO under pressure?

President Donald Trump has labelled the organisation a “puppet” of China and suspended funding for the WHO. The US is the largest donor.

He has also accused China of trying to cover up the outbreak – something it strongly rejects – and said the WHO had failed to hold Beijing to account.

The president on Monday published a letter he sent to WHO head Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus outlining specific issues the US has.

By News784

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