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Country Reports

Geneva Telegram - World Health Assembly draws first lessons from the pandemic

by Olaf Wientzek, Rosa Ann Seidler

The "Geneva Telegram" looks at events in the Geneva multilateral organizations on a current topic. This time the focus is on the 74th World Health Assembly.

The theme of the 74th World Health Assembly (WHA), held May 24-31, was "Ending this pandemic, preventing the next: building together a healthier, safer and fairer world." A central instrument discussed by Member States was the possible drafting of a new framework convention ("pandemic treaty"). Overall, as in previous years, the discussions were marred by geopolitical disputes.

The theme of the 74th World Health Assembly (WHA), held May 24-31, was "Ending this pandemic, preventing the next: building together a healthier, safer and fairer world." In several ways, it was a historic meeting: first, the agenda was unusually packed with more than 70 resolutions up for debate (of which 30 were adopted). In addition, the WHA drew important lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic. A central instrument discussed by Member States was the possible drafting of a new framework convention ("pandemic treaty"). The WHA decided to discuss such a treaty at a special meeting on 29 November - 1 December this year. The issue of more equitable vaccine distribution also drew significant attention; the WHO Director-General, experts, but also numerous representatives of Member States warned that present efforts to address the pandemic-related challenges were insufficient. Overall, as in previous years, the discussions were marred by geopolitical disputes.

You can read the full report here.

Contact Person

Dr. Olaf Wientzek

Olaf Wientzek bild

Director of the Multilateral Dialogue Geneva

olaf.wientzek@kas.de +41 22 748 70 70
Contact Person

Rosa Ann Seidler

Rosa Ann Seidler

Research Assistant

rosa.seidler@kas.de +41 22 748 70 72