Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Explainer-What is on (and off) the agenda of the WHO Assembly?

Coronavirus May 26, 2022 07:32AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The World Health Organization logo is pictured at the entrance of the WHO building, in Geneva, Switzerland, December 20, 2021. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

By Emma Farge and Jennifer Rigby

GENEVA (Reuters) - Hundreds of health ministers and diplomats from around the world meet in Geneva this week for the World Health Organization's first in-person assembly in three years as the U.N. agency seeks to define its future role in global health policy.

The agenda of the World Health Assembly (WHA) is the most packed in the WHO's 75-year history and is seen as an historic opportunity to move on from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to 15 million deaths, and prepare for the next global outbreak. [L5N2X96B0]

However, many of the most pressing topics, such as reforms of the rules around disease outbreaks, will be postponed for later or discussed only in the corridors.

Here's a summary of what will and won't be discussed:

ON THE AGENDA....

WHO FUNDING BOOST

Donors agreed a 'pivotal' deal last month to gradually raise their mandatory contributions to the WHO budget to reach 50% of the budget by 2028-2029 or 2030-31. In return, the WHO agreed to study their reform proposals.

Currently, their set fees represent just a fraction (16%) of the WHO's total budget, which means it cannot fund some programmes since the money is earmarked for donors' pet projects. The assembly approved the deal on Tuesday.

RE-ELECTION OF TEDROS

WHO's Ethiopian Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was re-elected via a secret ballot on Tuesday, having overcome criticism from his own government and a crisis last year following sexual abuse reports against WHO staff in Congo.

During the assembly, Tedros is also set to renew the global health agency's main "triple billion" goals that aim to boost universal health coverage, improve health and well-being and protect people better in health emergencies.

UKRAINE

The WHO's Europe region passed a resolution against Russia this month and asked Tedros to prepare a report on Ukraine's health emergency.

Members have prepared a resolution to be voted on at the assembly on Thursday, although diplomats say it will stop short of suspending Russia's voting rights, as some initially sought. Moscow has prepared a rival resolution.

IHR REFORMS

Reforms to the legally-binding rules that govern countries' obligations on public health emergencies, the International Health Regulations (IHR), will be raised.

However, the focus will be on a U.S.-led effort to expedite the application of future reforms from 24 months to 12 months, WHO principal legal officer Steve Solomon said. Africa has voiced opposition to the plan.

OFF THE AGENDA....

COVID ORIGINS

The WHO tasked a scientific advisory panel with probing the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus after a preliminary investigation into early COVID-19 cases in China last year left some questions unanswered. A WHO spokesperson said the panel's report was expected soon but would not be released as part of the assembly.

REFORM OF RULES

Most of the IHR reform negotiations will take place in the two years following the meeting, diplomats say.

These include sensitive items proposed by Washington like the deployment of expert teams to outbreak sites and a new compliance committee to monitor implementation of the rules, a WHO document showed.

Russia has also submitted reforms, diplomats say.

PANDEMIC TREATY

The IHR are widely seen as insufficient for dealing with a global pandemic and Tedros is seeking a new pandemic treaty. Proposals for the new pact might include rules on vaccine-sharing and a proposed ban on wildlife markets.

Negotiations are set to continue in June and a final treaty, whose legal status is yet to be determined, would not be ready until 2024.

PANDEMIC FUND

The G20 has agreed to set up a multi-billion dollar global fund for pandemic preparedness that will be set up outside of the WHO, probably at the World Bank. WHO's role in the fund is still being decided and it is not on the agenda for the assembly.

Explainer-What is on (and off) the agenda of the WHO Assembly?
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email