Geneva: In the two-day 73rd World Health Assembly (WHO), delegates adopted a resolution for an independent review and multilateral cooperation in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic which has caused an unprecedented global health crisis.
Due to Wuhan originated COVID-19 pandemic, the agenda for the 73rd WHO session was reduced to fit for two days and held virtually from 18 to 19 May. The EU-led resolution which was co-sponsored by over 130 World Health Organization member states passed the resolution with no objection.
The resolution called for an “impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation” to “review experience gained and lessons learned from the WHO-coordinated international health response to COVID 19”.
The resolution mandated member states to provide “reliable and comprehensive information on COVID-19 and the measures taken by authorities in response to the pandemic” and measures taken for countering “misinformation and disinformation and as well as malicious cyber activities”. It further called for the need to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic as a “global priority” and “needs of low-and middle-income countries in order to fill the gaps to overcome the pandemic through timely and adequate development and humanitarian assistance”. Ahead of the just concluded 73rd World Health Assembly, a coalition of 62 countries backed by Australia have intensively called the WHO for an independent inquiry into the coronavirus outbreak.
On the first day of the session, the US President Donald Trump addressed a four-page letter to the WHO’s Director-General Dr.Tedros Adhanom. Citing the World Health Organization’s lack of independence from China, the letter categorically detailed the United States’ review on Wuhan originated Coronavirus and WHO’s consistent ignoring of early response to the pandemic. Given the “repeated missteps” by WHO under the leadership of Dr. Tedros Adhanom, WHO Director-General, in responding to the pandemic, President Trump called WHO to “commit to major substantive improvements within 30 days”, failing which, the US funding to the WHO will be temporary frozen and the US will reconsider its membership in the WHO, the letter reads.
The Tibet Bureau Representative Chhimey Rigzen welcomed the passing of WHO’s resolution on the independent and impartial global response to the ongoing global pandemic. He added “In the highly interdepended and interconnected world, the sense of universal responsibility and mutual cooperation with transparency is required more than ever. Though the resolution has no mention of China or Wuhan, the first known origination of the virus, for an impartial and independent review on the global response to the pandemic, it is imperative to bring China commits to the resolution”.