First virtual World Health Assembly ends with global commitment to defeat COVID-19

The first virtual World Health Assembly has ended with global commitment to COVID-19 response.

“COVID-19 has robbed us of people we love. It’s robbed us of lives and livelihoods; it’s shaken the foundations of our world; it threatens to tear at the fabric of international cooperation. But it’s also reminded us that for all our differences, we are one human race, and we are stronger together,” WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in closing remarks.

Seventythird World Health Assembly Geneva Switzerland 1819 May 2020 WHO DirectorGeneral Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during the closing session of the 73rd World Health Assembly 151 19 May 2020nbsp
Seventy-third World Health Assembly, Geneva, Switzerland, 18-19 May 2020. WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during the closing session of the 73rd World Health Assembly — 19 May 2020

Delegates from more than 130 countries adopted a landmark resolution by consensus to bring the world together to fight the COVID-19 pandemic at the 73rd World Health Assembly, the first-ever to be held virtually.

The resolution calls for the intensification of efforts to control the pandemic, and for equitable access to and fair distribution of all essential health technologies and products to combat the virus. It also calls for an independent and comprehensive evaluation of the global response, including, but not limited to, WHO’s performance.

“As WHO convened ministers of health from almost every country in the world, the consistent message throughout the two-day meeting—including from the 14 heads of state participating in the opening and closing sessions —was that global unity is the most powerful tool to combat the outbreak. The resolution is a concrete manifestation of this call, and a roadmap for controlling the outbreak,” WHO said on its website.

The World Health Assembly will reconvene later in the year.

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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