May 31, 2021 ~ Reuters ~ Stephanie Nebehay

‘Time has come’ for pandemic treaty as part of bold reforms – WHO’s Tedros

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) called on Monday for launching negotiations this year on an international treaty to boost pandemic preparedness, as part of sweeping reforms envisioned by member states.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, told its annual ministerial assembly that the U.N. agency faced a “serious challenge” to maintain its COVID-19 response at the current level and required sustainable and flexible funding.

Earlier in the day – the last of the week-long assembly – health ministers agreed to study recommendations for ambitious reforms made by independent experts to strengthen the capacity of both the WHO and countries to contain new viruses.

The ministers from the WHO’s 194 member states are to meet from Nov. 29 to decide whether to launch negotiations on the pandemic treaty.

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