First virtual World Health Assembly ends with global commitment to defeat COVID-19 Updated for 2021

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Updated: March 1, 2021

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.

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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
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.

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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