Geneva: World Health Organisation, the UN body much in the news in the backdrop of the corona pandemic, opened its annual assembly in Geneva.
In an effort to bolster the agency's response to Covid-19, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, among many others, are rallying around efforts to strengthen the World Health Organization and the fight against pandemics.
The probable highlight of the assembly this time will be a draft resolution in the making which acknowledges missteps in the response to Covid-19. The European Union and Vanuatu are behind the resolution that would create a working group on strengthening WHO's readiness and response to health emergencies.
"We have to have institutions that are up to the task, that meet our ambitions," Macron said by video during the mostly virtual meeting. WHO, he said, must be 'robust and flexible' in times of emergency and crisis.
"And it must be completely transparent to make sure that people trust the organization." Merkel threw her backing behind the idea of a global health threat council and said leaders should provide WHO with lasting financial and personal support. The resolution would set up a six-person working group to report to the assembly next year.
The draft acknowledges 'serious shortcomings' in the world's ability to prepare, prevent, detect and respond to health emergencies.