Geneva: Member states of the World Health Organization have reached a tentative consensus to negotiate a future agreement on preventing pandemics, bridging the gap between sides led by the European Union and United States, diplomats said on Sunday (November 28). The draft resolution, hammered out in negotiations over the weekend, will be presented for adoption to health ministers at the WHO’s three-day special assembly that opens on Monday, they said. The diplomatic breakthrough came amid growing international concern over the Omicron coronavrius variant, first detected in South Africa this month, which has spread further around the world.
A global agreement to strengthen pandemic prevention and responses, expected to be ready in May 2024, would cover issues such as sharing of data and genome sequences of emerging viruses, and of any potential vaccines and drugs derived from research.
This decision, to establish a negotiating body on a future pandemic agreement, may only be the end of the beginning, but the flexibility shown and the breadth of support is a good portent for the vital efforts to come, Simon Manley, Britain’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, said in a statement.
Britain, along with the EU and some 70 other countries, had pushed for a legally-binding treaty. The United States backed by states including Brazil and India was reluctant to commit to a binding treaty, diplomats said last week.
There is agreement on a text which for us is very satisfying, a European diplomat said. It also gives the Americans a way out, who are clearly joined up.
Another diplomat said: “It is a good outcome…There was enormous goodwill to get common language.”
The draft resolution was posted on the WHO website.
More than 260.77 million people have been reported to have been infected by the coronavirus and 5.45 million have died since SARS-CoV-2 emerged in China in December 2019. The WHO says that China has still not shared some of its early data that might help identify the virus origin.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, that is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.