The approved text was prepared by the European Union, but before its approval it was supported by more than a hundred other WHO member countries, including Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Britain and Canada. The text calls for an “impartial, independent and complete” investigation into the international response to the pandemic, coordinated by the WHO.
The aim, according to the resolution, is “to improve the capacity of the international community to prevent, prepare for and respond to pandemics”.
Opinions have differed in recent weeks on when the investigation should begin. While the United States and some other countries have pushed for an immediate investigation, China has insisted that the spread of SARS-CoV-2 be controlled first.
I’ll start the investigation as soon as possible
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus promised on Monday that he would order the investigation “at the earliest time.” The text, approved by the World Health Assembly on Tuesday, says AFP says the investigation should begin “as soon as possible.”
The resolution also calls for fair access to a possible vaccine. It responds to the fears of poorer countries that the rich will get vaccinated first. Already, poor countries are criticizing the richer ones for buying drugs on world markets that are hoped to work against covid-19. The current resolution speaks of a “global, early and fair access” to vaccines and medicines.
In a statement issued shortly after the resolution was adopted, the United States said the announced investigation should provide a “complete and transparent understanding of the source of the virus, the sequence of events and the decision-making process for the WHO response”.
American back door
Despite no objections to the assembly, the US in a statement distanced itself from the mention of intellectual property and its possible restriction under the TRIPS Agreement. This allows the authorities, in the event of an emergency, to allow a third party to manufacture a licensed party, in this case medicines or vaccines, without the consent of the patent holder. But this passage, according to the United States, “sends a bad message to innovators who will be crucial to the solutions the whole world needs.”
The World Health Assembly was held for only two days this year due to the pandemic, it started on Monday and was attended by video representatives by representatives of individual member states.