Country Reports

Geneva Barometer

by Olaf Wientzek, Sarah Ultes, Meike Lenzner

Developments in the Geneva-based International Organisations from mid-October 2020 to mid-December 2020

The “Geneva Barometer” takes an occasional look at selected developments in the international organisations based in Geneva.

The issue of the worldwide distribution of vaccines was one of the most discussed topics in the international Geneva community. The COVAX Facility established to foster fair global access to a COVID-19 vaccine was for a long time struggling to achieve the targeted coverage. Thanks to additional pledges in the past days i.a. by the European Commission and the European Investment bank as well as Norway, Canada, Kuwait, Denmark, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Singapore and Estonia, the goal to secure two billion doses could be met.

The World Health Assembly in November discussed, among other things, possible lessons to be learned from the pandemic. One vital question for reform will be the relationship between the World Health Organization (WHO) and its member states; this was highlighted by a controversy that flared up over the past few days over an evaluation report withdrawn by the WHO in May.

For the World Trade Organization (WTO), the year ended with two (for now) disappointments and a glimmer of hope.
The results of the presidential election in the United States led to a collective sigh of relief in the international Geneva community. It is not to be expected, however, that years of disputes will miraculously vanish into thin air.

The full report can be read here.