WHO agrees to study major reforms, meet again on pandemic treaty

FILE PHOTO: Mike Ryan, Executive Director of the World Health Organisation (WHO) attends a news conference on the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland May 3, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization, battling to coordinate the global response to the coronavirus pandemic, agreed on Monday to study recommendations for ambitious reforms made by independent experts to strengthen the agency, with member states firmly in the driver’s seat.

Health ministers from its 194 members will also meet from Nov. 29 to decide whether to launch negotiations on an international treaty aimed at boosting defences against any future pandemic.

“We really do welcome the recommendations within the resolutions and also the decision to take this forward to an international agreement or framework convention on preparedness and response for pandemics,” WHO’s emergencies director Mike Ryan told its annual ministerial assembly.

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