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WHO Chief Urges Historic Pandemic Accord for Global Health Security Transformation

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WHO Chief Urges Historic Pandemic Accord for Global Health Security Transformation

(CTN News) – After the COVID-19 crisis, the WHO director-general warned on Sunday that a new pandemic treaty is currently being negotiated and that it must be a “historic agreement” signifying a radical transformation in the approach to global health security.

“We cannot simply carry on as we did before,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated at the opening of the World Health Organization’s annual assembly in Geneva.

To ensure the world is better prepared to avoid or respond more effectively the next time a pandemic strikes, WHO member nations have launched negotiations toward an international accord.

The process is just starting, but the ultimate goal is a final agreement before the next World Health Assembly in May 2024.

At the beginning of the 10-day meeting, Tedros remarked, “The pandemic accord that member states are now negotiating must be a historic agreement to make a paradigm shift in global health security, recognising that our fates are interwoven.”

This was the message of a series of Sunday speakers at the highest levels.

End of COVID 19 Public Health Emergency Changes in Testing Vaccine and Treatment Coverage 1

In a video, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his optimism that ongoing negotiations on pandemic prevention, readiness, and response would lead to a robust multilateral approach to save lives.

While this was happening, the president of Timor-Leste, Jose Manuel Ramos-Horta, said that “every country, big or small, rich or poor, struggled to mount an adequate response to the pandemic.”

This reminds us that we must put up our fort before the storm comes.

The official death toll from the pandemic is around seven million, but many say the real number is closer to twenty million.

Earlier this month, Tedros announced that the COVID-19 outbreak was no longer a worldwide health crisis.

But he emphasized on Sunday that “COVID is still with us, it still kills, it’s still changing, and it still demands our attention.”

We may have come out of “a long, dark tunnel,” but now is the time to reflect on what we learned in the dark and carry those lessons with us as we continue.

WHO Calls for Paradigm Shift in Global Health Security with New Pandemic Accord

To paraphrase, “chief among those lessons is that we can only face shared threats with a shared response.”

If reached, the pandemic deal would be only the second legally enforceable health treaty in the 75 years since WHO’s founding.

At the 20th anniversary of its adoption, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control was emphasized by Tedros.

He noted that smoking rates have plummeted by one-third worldwide over that time.

He expressed hope that a pandemic accord may have a similar effect, citing the success of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control as an example.

Now is the time for us to make collective history in global health.

Arsi Mughal is a staff writer at CTN News, delivering insightful and engaging content on a wide range of topics. With a knack for clear and concise writing, he crafts articles that resonate with readers. Arsi's pieces are well-researched, informative, and presented in a straightforward manner, making complex subjects accessible to a broad audience. His writing style strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and casual approachability, ensuring an enjoyable reading experience.

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