WHO regrets Trump’s decision 1:07
. – The World Health Organization (WHO) has agreed to conduct an investigation into the global response to the coronavirus pandemic, adopting a summit resolution that has been overshadowed by the threat by United States President Donald Trump to permanently cut funding. that your country allocates to the agency.
The WHO member states approved the proposal without objection during the World Health Assembly meeting on Tuesday, after the European Union and Australia led the requests for an investigation.
The part of the resolution that had been considered controversial called for “a gradual process of impartial, independent and extensive evaluation” at “the most appropriate next moment”, with the purpose of “reviewing the experience gained and the lessons learned from the health response. international coordinated by the WHO before the covid-19 ”.
The resolution did not target any specific country, but several nations – including the United States – accused Beijing of withholding information about the virus, which was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019.
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The United States has accused China of keeping information about the coronavirus, while Beijing’s response has been to defend how it handled the outbreak.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said Monday that he supports calls for an investigation into the management of the pandemic, but insisted that any inquiry should wait until the virus is contained.
Now, any investigation that blames Beijing could result in a severe blow to China’s global position.
Xi defended the actions of his country through video conference. “All the time we have acted with sincerity, transparency and responsibility, we have provided the information to the WHO and the relevant countries in the most timely manner, we have disclosed the genome sequence as soon as possible, we have shared experiences of control and treatment with the world without reservations, we have done everything in our power to support and help countries in need, “he said.
Beijing had reacted angrily to Australia’s earlier requests for an investigation, accusing Canberra of a “highly irresponsible” decision that could “disrupt international cooperation in the fight against the pandemic and that runs counter to the shared aspiration of the people” .
Trump’s threat looms over the summit
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus affirmed his commitment to “transparency, accountability and continuous improvement” during his speech at the virtual summit on Tuesday.
But the meeting occurred at a critical time for the agency, when Trump is leading an effort against him by threatening to withdraw the funds and even suspend U.S. membership.
On Monday, Trump accused the WHO of a “cunning political game” for praising China’s strict restrictions on domestic travel, while “inexplicably” opposed “closing the United States border.”
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In response to that threat, other world leaders repeatedly stressed the importance of WHO’s work in fighting the pandemic. The European Union said on Tuesday that “this is the time for solidarity, it is not the time to point the finger or undermine multilateral cooperation.”
“This pandemic has highlighted our vulnerability and made it clear that we need each other,” added the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, at the summit. “That is why more than ever we must be united,” he insisted.
However, Trump’s remarks have highlighted allegations made by some critics that the WHO has been overly respectful of China in the course of the coronavirus outbreak.
Observers often point to Taiwan’s lack of membership as evidence of that accusation, and the issue was raised again on Tuesday when China said continued advocacy of some countries’ involvement in Taiwan undermines global epidemic efforts.
China’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Chen Xu, argued that those countries that are “determined to defend the Taiwanese authorities” before WHO are violating United Nations and WHO resolutions.
Taiwan is an autonomous democratic island that has never been governed by the People’s Republic, but which Beijing claims as part of its territory.
CNN’s Carly Walsh contributed to this report.