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Health: Lauterbach: WHO pandemic agreement not a definitive failure

Health: Lauterbach: WHO pandemic agreement not a definitive failure

An agreement should prepare the world for future pandemics – but the disagreement is too great. The health minister, however, believes that the last word has not yet been spoken.

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach does not believe that international efforts to reach a pandemic agreement have come to an end. The World Health Organization (WHO) agreement has not failed completely, but more time is needed, wrote the SPD politician on Platform X. The talks ended on Friday after two years without consensus.

“Many points have emerged from the negotiations so far that we can now build on,” argued Lauterbach. “Common sense will prevail. Just like with climate protection, but it will take time.”

The 194 member states of the UN organization had originally set themselves the goal of adopting the pact next week in Geneva at the WHO’s annual meeting. The agreement was intended to prevent global chaos like the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure that all countries were supplied with all the necessary protective equipment, medicines and vaccines in a timely manner. However, diplomats from various countries and WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed optimism that work on the agreement could continue.

Aid organizations and poorer countries fear that the treaty will not ensure that the most vulnerable are cared for. In richer countries, there was resistance from the pharmaceutical industry and from critics who falsely claimed that the WHO wanted to decide on lockdowns or compulsory vaccination in the event of a pandemic. There was disagreement on issues such as pandemic prevention and financing. One point of controversy was the extent to which medicines or vaccines should be made available to poorer countries free of charge or at low prices.

Final meeting of the negotiators

Source: Stern

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