WHO chief urges countries to quickly seal pandemic deal

May 28, 2024
Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends an ACANU briefing in Geneva, Switzerland, December 15, 2023. — Reuters

GENEVA: The World Health Organisation chief on Monday urged countries to nail down a landmark global agreement on handling of future pandemics after they missed a hard deadline.


Scarred by Covid-19 -- which killed millions, shredded economies and crippled health systems -- nations have spent two years trying to forge binding commitments on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.

Negotiators failed to clinch a deal ahead of this week´s World Health Assembly -- the annual gathering of WHO´s 194 member states -- the deadline for concluding the talks. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus opened the assembly on Monday, saying he was confident that an agreement would be secured.

“Of course, we all wish that we had been able to reach a consensus on the agreement in time for this health assembly and crossed the finish line,” he said. “But I remain confident that you still will, because where there is a will, there is a way.”