Australia may support new powers for the World Health Organization in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Health Minister Greg Hunt said at the World Health Organization’s virtual 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA).
He urged the international community to “learn lessons” to determine whether the WHO’s mandate and powers need to be strengthened.
He stated that Australia supports an impartial and comprehensive review into the global response to the outbreak.
Meanwhile, speaking at the virtual assembly, UK’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the UK supports an inquiry into the global response to coronavirus “at the appropriate point.”
“For now we must all remain focussed on the fight against the virus, and of course a vaccine will be our best weapon in this fight,” Hancock said.
Some background: More than 100 countries have proposed a draft resolution calling for an independent “evaluation” into the coronavirus pandemic.
The motion comes with international support from countries such as India, New Zealand, Russian Federation, the European Union and its member states, as well as the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. The United States is not one of the signatories.
The draft does not specifically mention China or Beijing, but China has been facing mounting international scrutiny for its initial handling of the COVID-19 outbreak.