The head of the UN World Health Organization on Thursday spoke out forcefully against “misinformation on social media and in the mainstream media” which has falsely alleged that a new global pandemic accord being negotiated, would allow the WHO to override national sovereignty relating to a future outbreak.
Briefing correspondents in Geneva at his regular weekly press conference, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that “the claim that the accord will cede power to WHO is quite simply false. It’s fake news.”
Countries will decide
He made clear that countries themselves will decide the wording and scope of any global agreement on how to tackle the next pandemic, “and countries alone”.
“No country will cede any sovereignty to WHO”, the Director-General emphasized.
News reports have highlighted several instances of online news sources and commentators in recent weeks, falsely claiming that the Biden administration in the United States, was negotiating a deal to allow WHO to “control” emergency laws in the event of another pandemic, such as COVID-19.
International negotiations on-going
Earlier this month, Member States of the WHO began negotiations on a draft global accord on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, working from an agreed “zero draft”, designed to protect countries and communities from future pandemic emergencies.
The Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) which is drafting and negotiating the hoped for WHO agreement, is due to meet again early next month, with a view to producing a first draft.
INB Co-Chair, Ms Precious Matsoso of South Africa, said at the March meeting, that the meeting was “a critical step in ensuring that we do not repeat the mistakes of the COVID-19 response, including in sharing life-saving vaccines, provision of information, and development of local capacities.”
Tedros said on Thursday that if any politician, business leader, “or anyone at all is confused about what the pandemic accord is and isn’t, we would be more than happy to discuss it and explain it.”
SOURCE: UN News