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WHO: “future generations would not forgive” if a treaty against pandemics is not achieved

WHO: “future generations would not forgive” if a treaty against pandemics is not achieved

The director general of the World Health Organization (WHO)Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, today acknowledged difficulties in negotiating a global treaty for pandemic preparedness, and warned member countries that “future generations would not forgive” if it was not achieved.

“I am concerned that Member States are not fulfilling their commitments, time is ticking and there are still important issues to resolve,” Tedros indicated in the session of the WHO Executive Committee, which during this week is preparing the main topics to be discussed at the organization’s annual assembly, from May 27 to June 1.

At the end of that assembly, the WHO had proposed approving a treaty or similar legal instrument in order to improve the preparation of global health systems following the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19which paralyzed the global economy especially in the years 2020 and 2021.

The negotiations “they require courage and commitment from all parties, and we will not achieve a consensus if everyone remains entrenched in their positions, either we all give something or no one will take anything”Tedros indicated in a speech where he analyzed the achievements of the WHO in 2023 and its challenges for 2024.

“I urge all members to work with a sense of urgency in order to reach an agreement that will help protect our children and grandchildren from future pandemics,” concluded the Ethiopian expert.

The general director assured that 2024 will be in this sense “a defining year for global health”, for which the WHO has requested US$1.5 billion from donor countries in order to respond to emergencies around the world.

In his review of 2023, Tedros recalled that in May of that year the end of the global emergency due to COVID-19 and also due to mpox could be declared, although he assured that they continue to be threats to humanity.

In the fight against the pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, Tedros highlighted that two thirds of the world’s population have received at least a complete schedule of vaccines against COVID-19.

In this achievement, he recalled, the COVAX program, organized by the WHO, the GAVI Vaccine Alliance and other institutions, has been vital, with which 2,000 doses were distributed especially in lower-income countries, which is estimated to have saved the life to 2.7 million people.

The year 2023, he admitted, was marked by conflict, and the WHO responded to it with humanitarian activities in places like Gaza, UkraineEthiopia, Democratic Republic of Comgo, Haiti, Sudan or Burma (Myanmar).

The WHO managed to hold a special day on health for the first time at the annual climate change summits (COP28 in Dubai) and held an international conference on traditional medicine for the first time, choosing India as the setting.

In his speech, Tedros recalled the death last year of the former regional director of the WHO in America, Carissa Etienne, and of the Palestinian WHO worker Dima Abudllatif Mohamed Alhaj, murdered along with her entire family in an attack in Loop.

Source: Gestion

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