MISE & Agrave; DAY
What order of march for the World Health Organization to better fight the next pandemic that is sure to come? The member countries are going to work in Geneva to try to find the beginning of an answer.
This exceptional meeting of the World Health Assembly – the supreme decision-making body of the UN organization which brings together its 194 members – begins Monday and will last three days to debate this single subject, at a time when an excessively lax Europe is beset by the 5th wave of the Covid pandemic and that the appearance of a new variant worries.
It is also two years after the start of the pandemic which has cost millions of lives and thousands of billion euros.
The management of the Covid has shown the limits of what the WHO has the right and the means to do, but the international community is divided.
The purpose of the meeting is to discuss on the best way to provide WHO with a legal framework enabling it to better face a future crisis, whether in the form of an international treaty or another formula.
The International Health Regulations which guide the action of the WHO since 2005 are not made to face crises of the magnitude of the Covid, underlines Jaouad Mahjour, Deputy Director of Emergency Preparedness within the organization .
Its managing director, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is clearly in favor of a treaty to avoid the infernal circle of “do nothing and then panic”.
“Chaos caused by this pandemic only underscores the world's need for a rock-solid international agreement that dictates the rules, ”he said on Wednesday.
But the United States does are not in favor of a treaty and would prefer a faster process.
Conversely, some 70 countries are in favor of a treaty, believing that it was “the only substantial proposal” that can ensure “a global response to the next pandemic that is rapid, joint, effective and fair ”, according to the open letter published by the health ministers of 32 of them and warning:“ We cannot wait for the next crisis before acting ”.
“Whatever we do, in the future we will need a lasting commitment at the highest political level”, explained a European diplomat, who pleads “for a binding legal framework to structure everything … It is a subject too important. ”
Steve Solomon, WHO's legal director, says“ there is good reason to believe ”that a collective solution can be found.
“It's not something we need to discuss for 107 years. Please get started! ”Said former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark on Monday during a status update six months after the publication of a very critical report on the management of the pandemic, which she co-chaired at the request of the head of the WHO.
The report proposed to establish a framework convention for the WHO, which would make it possible to reach an agreement quickly on the essential and then add the elements as and when needed.
A working group was set up to draft a resolution that can be debated during the meeting which begins Monday.
According to Mr. Mahjour the recommendations to be discussed fall into four categories: equity, governance and leadership, financing at national and international level and systems and tools to respond to a health crisis. 'global scale.
“There is a certain reason, because the world cannot afford to have another pandemic he is not prepared for, “he warned.