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World Health Organization Struggles Over Accord On Pandemic Measures

A planned international accord on how to limit deaths and coordinate international action during a pandemic is in the balance ahead of talks at the World Health Organization (WHO).

The WHO’s 194 member states are aiming to reach agreement in Geneva from Monday. “It will be difficult,” said one negotiator.

In the struggle to reach an agreement, the negotiators have presented a radically shortened draft compared to a proposal from before Easter. It now runs to 23 pages. Numerous controversial provisions have been omitted.

The international agreement is intended to save lives in the event of a future pandemic and ensure less chaos than during the coronavirus pandemic.

It is to be adopted at the next WHO annual meeting in Geneva at the end of May and beginning of June.

The aid organization Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said that the treaty must regulate global health and justice issues, and not just protect the interests of the industry.

Melissa Scharwey, MSF’s expert on global health, told dpa that Germany must advocate for government investment in research and development to be conditional on equitable access later to medical products for people all over the world.

One controversial issue in the accord is whether and how pharmaceutical companies should be obliged to share expertise and make a portion of their products available to poorer countries free of charge or at low cost.

MSF is also calling for binding rules to ensure that vaccines can be produced in many countries in future.

Source: Dpa.



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