WORLD 73rd WHA ends with strong global commitment to COVID-19 response

WORLD

73rd WHA ends with strong global commitment to COVID-19 response

Xinhua

06:09, May 20, 2020


BELGIUM-BRUSSELS-WHA-VIRTUAL CONFERENCE

Photo taken on May 18, 2020 in Brussels, Belgium shows a screen displaying World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (1st R) at the 73rd World Health Assembly. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the 73rd World Health Assembly is virtual. (Photo: Xinhua)

GENEVA, May 19 (Xinhua) -- The 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA), the first of its kind that held virtually since the World Health Organization (WHO) was founded in 1948, ended on Tuesday with a strong global commitment to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in his closing remarks that the focus of his organization now is fighting the pandemic with every tool at their disposal.

"At the end of the day, what matters is life. That should be at the center of everything we do, and everything we say," he said.

"For everything COVID-19 has taken from us, it has also given us something: a reminder of what really matters, and the opportunity to forge a common future," he added.

Before the closing of Tuesday's virtual conference, delegates adopted a landmark resolution to bring the world together to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, which was adopted by consensus and was co-sponsored by more than 130 countries, including the European Union and its member states, Russia and China.

The resolution expressed solidarity to all countries affected by the pandemic, as well as condolences and sympathy to all the families of the victims of COVID-19, and expressed optimism that the COVID-19 pandemic can be successfully mitigated, controlled and overcome through leadership and sustained global cooperation, unity, and solidarity.

It acknowledged the key leadership role of WHO and the fundamental role of the United Nations system in catalyzing and coordinating the comprehensive global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It called for the intensification of efforts to control the pandemic, and for equitable access to and fair distribution of all essential health technologies and products to combat the virus.

It also called for an enhanced effort to identify the zoonotic source of the virus and the route of introduction to the human population as well as a comprehensive evaluation of the global response.

A WHO spokesperson told media that as ministers of health from almost every country in the world gathered for the meeting, the consistent message throughout the two-day meeting was that global unity is the most powerful tool to combat the outbreak.

Because of the outbreak, the just-closed May session of the World Health Assembly was shortened to only two days, and it will reconvene later this year to finish the remaining agendas.


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