The European Union says it wants the World Health Organization to be more transparent about how countries report new health crises in the draft UN agency reform proposal, following China’s criticism of China’s initial treatment of the COVID-19 pandemic. Revealed.
The paper, written by the German government after discussions with other member states, is the most recent summarizing the EU’s multi-month plan to address the WHO’s shortcomings in funding, governance and legal powers.
As of October 19, this document by Reuters urges WHO to adopt measures to increase “transparency in national compliance” with international health regulations. This requires WHO member states to quickly share information on health emergencies.
The United States accused the WHO of being too close to China in the first phase of the pandemic, when China was slow to share important information about the novel coronavirus that first appeared in Wuhan City.
President Donald Trump said the United States would end its membership in the institution and as a result cease funding.
The WHO has repeatedly dismissed the charges. It did not respond to requests for comment on the EU proposal.
The German government declined to comment on the content of this document because it is still a draft. China did not respond to requests for comment.
The EU and its states are one of the WHO’s biggest donors, and the United States will be by far the best contributor if it leaves the UN agency.
The EU draft will be discussed by EU health ministers at a videoconference next week, and it will be a joint position for the EU ahead of the WHO general meeting in mid-November.
It repeats the EU’s support for WHO and highlights the institution’s central role in addressing global health issues.
However, it lists insufficient transparency as the first of the many challenges faced by UN agencies, a lack of “predictable and sustainable” financing.
It also calls for “a reporting system that is applied more effectively and consistently by States Parties to the WHO Secretariat”.
This appears to address criticism that China and other countries did not share information about the pandemic in a timely manner.
The document says that the mechanism for assessing the compliance of the state’s reporting obligations should be strengthened and should be done periodically.
It said that the imbalance between the expectations of WHO member states and the capacity of the organization should be addressed first.
“Wake up call”
Preparations for the WHO and government’s review of the COVID-19 pandemic have been under way for months, and Germany has repeatedly urged EU member states to accelerate the process so that institutional reforms can be discussed in earnest.
According to a report by Reuters to this meeting, EU health ministers already at a videoconference held in early October agreed broadly on a common position on the reforms the WHO should go through.
Germany wanted a “much more ambitious” maintenance than many states would have accepted.
At the meeting, WHO secretary-general Tedros Adhanom Gheybreyesus told EU ministers that the COVID-19 epidemic “must be seen as a wake-up call”, and said the agency was reviewing how the rules were applied by member states, according to the briefing.
The draft EU document, prepared after the meeting, also urges WHO to amend the method of warning of health emergencies by adopting a “traffic light system” that more accurately communicates the severity of the crisis.