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World Health Assembly adopts resolution on coronavirus response, India elected as executive member

The EU-draft resolution which was co-sponsored by EU member states and Australia lastly noticed the assist of near 140 member states, together with China, earlier than it was adopted on Tuesday on the 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA).

The resolution seeks to determine the origins of the novel coronavirus as nicely as provoke an “impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation” on the response of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to the coronavirus disaster.

The agenda of the WHA’s first-ever digital session was to debate and undertake the resolution find a technique to battle the worldwide well being pandemic that has claimed over 3,00,000 lives and contaminated 4.eight million folks worldwide.

RESOLUTION

The resolution, initially proposed by some 60 international locations together with Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Russia South Africa, the European Union and its member states, Turkey and the UK, was lastly backed by greater than 120 members, folks acquainted with the event mentioned.

Within the concluding session, WHO Director-Basic Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus mentioned, “I will initiate an evaluation at the earliest appropriate moment. We welcome any initiative to strengthen global health security and to strengthen WHO. The World Health Organisation remains fully committed to transparency, accountability & continuous improvement.”

Curiously, whereas China endorsed the resolution, the US didn’t object to the adoption however gave a written rationalization of its place concerning the Covid-19 response resolution.

“China has co-sponsored the draft resolution backed by 120 countries. We hope the draft resolution can be adopted by consensus at the 73rd WHA and will be implemented accurately and comprehensively,” Chinese language overseas ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian mentioned in the course of the day by day briefing on Tuesday.

Whereas the US applauded the decision for an “impartial, independent, and comprehensive review of the WHO’s response”, it disassociated itself from the language in some areas of the resolution associated to “access to abortion” and language within the “World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) and the Doha Declaration of 2001”

“We do not accept references to “sexual and reproductive well being,” or other languages that suggests or explicitly states that access to abortion is included in the provision of population and individual level health services,” the written assertion mentioned.

It added, “We are concerned that a misinterpretation of international trade obligations in non-WTO multilateral fora may negatively affect countries’ abilities to incentivize new drug development and expand access to medicines.”

The resolution has referred to as on the WHO Director-Basic, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to “continue to work closely with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and countries, as part of the One-Health Approach to identify the zoonotic source of the virus and the route of introduction to the human population, including the possible role of intermediate hosts.”

This comes a day after US President Donald Trump put the WHO DG on a 30-day discover searching for motion inside that point interval for Washington DC to renew funding of the world well being physique.

Tuesday’s resolution on the WHO meeting — which isn’t binding and talked about no international locations by identify — additionally referred to as for nations to commit to making sure “transparent, equitable and timely access” to any therapies or vaccines developed in opposition to Covid-19.

INDIA TO CHAIR THE EXECUTIVE BOARD

The WHA additionally elected ten new member states within the executive board of the WHO. India was one of many ten nations to affix the executive board of the World Health Organisation for a interval of three years.

The opposite new members embrace Botswana, Colombia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Oman, Republic of Korea, Russia, and the UK.

The WHO Executive Board comprising 34 people holds two conferences yearly — the primary one in January and a shorter assembly in Might — instantly after the World Health Assembly.

On the 147th session of the executive board on Might 22, the election of the chair, vice-chairs, and rapporteurs will happen. India will take over as chairperson. Presently, Dr. Hiroki Nakatani of Japan is the Chairman of the WHO Executive Board.

TAIWAN

Taiwan didn’t make it as an observer to the World Health Assembly. Whereas Beijing managed to maintain Taipei out of this meeting, the newly elected President of WHA, Keva Bain introduced on Monday that adopting the proposal for the supplementary agenda searching for “inclusion of Taiwan to participate in the World Health Assembly as an observer”, can be thought of within the resumed session later this 12 months.

However that didn’t cease international locations from bickering over the problem.

Two African international locations made a powerful pitch for Taiwan to be included as an observer to the WHA. The Caribbean nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis complimented Taiwan on its dealing with of the coronavirus disaster.

However the statements made by the US and China on Monday led to each the international locations exercising their ‘Proper of Reply’ on Tuesday.

In response to the US well being secretary’s remarks that exclusion of Taiwan was placing the lives of thousands and thousands of Taiwanese in danger at the price of politics, the Chinese language consultant mentioned, “China solemnly protests and firmly opposes this behaviour. It has been proven, the so-called gap in the international epidemic prevention in Taiwan is a purely political pretext that is doomed to fail. Our top priority is to untie and save lives. We continuously support the WHO’s leading role. We hope that some countries can step up cooperation with the international community in a responsible manner so as to jointly defeat the pandemic.”

Responding to China, the US Consultant on Monday mentioned, “In reaction to statement by China, we join countless others in the international community who have called on the WHO to extend an invitation to Taiwan to the WHA.”

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