India has backed the 62-nation coalition draft resolution that has been presented to the World Health Assembly (WHA) which will take up the issue of ‘Covid-19 Response’ during the two-day meet, starting Monday.
India Today TV has learnt that the European Union-sponsored draft resolution on ‘Covid-19 Response’ shall be adopted unanimously at the 73rd World Health Assembly.

Originally, it was drafted by the EU but was later co-sponsored by other nations totalling to 62, excluding the United States and China.

While earlier countries like the US had sought an independent inquiry into the coronavirus outbreak and its origins, the EU draft does not mention inquiries and investigations against any state.

The draft resolution was accepted by most nations because of its language, sources told India Today TV.

“The EU resolution will be adopted unanimously. It has language which was accepted by everyone, including Australia, EU, and not objected to by the USA or China,” the source said.

The final draft resolution is left wanting in seeking tough action against and transparency on the response to the coronavirus outbreak by China. However, it aims to address questions raised about the World Health Organization (WHO) as an organisation and its response to the pandemic.

It calls for an “impartial”, “independent” and “comprehensive” evaluation to review lessons learnt from the WHO-coordinated response, as well as the “effectiveness” of mechanisms at its disposal — namely the 2005 International Health Regulations.

“OP9.10 Initiate, at the earliest appropriate moment, and in consultation with Member States, a stepwise process of impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation, including using existing mechanisms, as appropriate, to review experience gained and lessons learned from the WHO-coordinated international health response to COVID-19, including (i) the effectiveness of the mechanisms at WHO’s disposal; (ii) the functioning of the IHR and the status of implementation of the relevant recommendations of the previous IHR Review Committees; (iii) WHO’s contribution to United Nations-wide efforts; and (iv) the actions of WHO and their timelines pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic, and make recommendations to improve global pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response capacity, including through strengthening, as appropriate, WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme,” the resolution read.

OP9.6 of the resolution “requests” the Director General of WHO to continue work on origins or the “source” of the coronavirus and its “transmission” to the “human population”.

“Continue to work closely with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and countries, as part of the One-Health Approach to identify the zoonotic source of the virus and the route of introduction to the human population, including the possible role of intermediate hosts, including through efforts such as scientific and collaborative field missions, which will enable targeted interventions and a research agenda to reduce the risk of similar events as well as to provide guidance on how to prevent SARS-COV2 infection in animals and humans and prevent the establishment of new zoonotic reservoirs, as well as to reduce further risks of emergence and transmission of zoonotic diseases,” the resolution reads.

Beyond this, no call for action or investigation has been sought in the outbreak that has claimed over 313,000 lives and affected millions across the world.

While India has supported the resolution, it has not lost sight of the larger goal which was spelt out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in all his multilateral meetings.

“The prime minister has spoken of strengthening and reforming WHO. We can’t lose sight of that broader approach. Everything member-states do has to fit into that wider vision,” said the source.

The resolution aims to show unity, ensuring more equitable access to medicines, diagnostics, vaccines and future innovations to fight coronavirus. But, it also focuses on the fact that the population should not be fed with lies or misinformation.

“OP7.6 Provide the population with reliable and comprehensive information on Covid-19 and the measures taken by authorities in response to the pandemic, and take measures to counter misinformation and disinformation and as well as malicious cyber activities,” the resolution states.

It also recognises “the need for all countries to have unhindered timely access to quality, safe, efficacious and affordable diagnostics, therapeutics, medicines and vaccines, and essential health technologies, and their components as well as equipment for the Covid-19 response;”

The layers of diplomatic doublespeak hidden in the resolution are reflected by the weak resolution that the international body is going to adopt with no real consequences for any nation.

The final draft resolution has been co-sponsored by Albania, Australia, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bhutan, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Mozambique, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, San Marino, Sierra Leone, South Africa, the European Union and its Member States, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Zambia.

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