At the 73rd World Health Assembly on May 18, the World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for a ‘comprehensive framework for COVID-19 epidemic and pandemic preparedness’. While calling all nations to invest in strengthening and implementing the many tools at the disposal, Tedros said that nations have to do ‘everything it takes to ensure that the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic is never repeated’. In a bid to be successful, the WHO chief said that the world must ‘commit to mutual ownership and accountability.
Tedros said, “I am calling on all nations to invest in strengthening and implementing the many tools at our disposal – especially the global treaty that underpins global health security: the International Health Regulations”.
He added, “To be successful, we must all commit to mutual ownership & accountability. One way to do that, proposed by the Africa Group, is through a system of universal periodic review, in which countries agree to a regular & transparent review of each nation’s preparedness”.
While addressing the WHA, Tedros noted that the world does not lack the tools, the science, or the resources to make it safer from pandemics. However, he added that the nations have lacked the ‘sustained commitments’ to use the resources available. The WHO chief said that the time has come to ‘weave together the disparate strands of global health security’ into the ‘unbreakable chain’- a comprehensive framework for epidemic and pandemic preparedness.
Moreover, Tedros also said that the world does not need another plan, another system, another mechanism, another committee or another organisation. According to Tedros, the world needs to strengthen, implement and finance the systems and organisations it has, including the WHO. Further, he also pointed out that if there is anything ‘positive’ to come from the COVID-19 pandemic, “it must be a safer and more resilient world”.