Germany and France leave WHO reform talks amid tensions with Washington

by Muddassir A. news update
France and Germany dropped out of talks on the reform of the World Health Organization (WHO), frustrated by the United States' attempts to lead the negotiations, despite its decision to leave the WHO.

The move is a setback for President Donald Trump as Washington, which holds the rotating G7 presidency, expected to issue a common roadmap for a radical WHO review in September, two months before the US presidential election.

The United States notified the WHO a year in advance in July that it was leaving the UN agency, which was created to improve global health after Trump accused it of being too close to China and mishandling China. coronavirus pandemic.

The WHO has dismissed their accusations. European governments have also criticized the WHO, but they do not go as far as the United States in their criticism, and the decision by Paris and Berlin to abandon the talks follows tensions over what they say are Washington's attempts to dominate the negotiations. , a British cable service. reported.

"Nobody wants to be dragged into a reform process and get a blueprint from a country that has just left the WHO," said a senior European official involved in the talks.

When asked to confirm the Paris and Berlin decision, government spokespersons for G7 members Germany, France, Britain, and Italy declined to comment.

But France's Health Ministry said: "The United States should not take the lead in the WHO reform process after announcing its intention to leave the organization."

When asked about the position of France and Germany, a senior Trump administration official said: "All G7 members explicitly supported the essence of the WHO reform ideas."

"However, it is regrettable that Germany and France ultimately decided not to join the group in endorsing the roadmap," he said. Talks about WHO reform began about four months ago. There have been nearly 20 teleconferences between health ministers from the Group of Seven industrialized countries and dozens of meetings of diplomats and other officials.

A G7 deal, which also includes Japan and Canada, would facilitate talks at the G20 and the United Nations, where any changes would have to be agreed with China, Russia, and other major non-G7 governments.

It is unclear whether a G7 summit in the United States, in which Trump expects leaders to back the roadmap, will take place in September as planned.

US officials have not said what reforms Washington has sought. But many of his allies found an initial reform roadmap proposed by Washington too critical, and one European official involved in the negotiations described it as "rude."

Despite changes to the original text, Washington's push remained unacceptable, primarily to Germany, sources familiar with the negotiations said. In the weeks leading up to the collapse of the talks, negotiators said positions were getting closer as Washington softened its approach and European negotiators began to see the reform process as a means to make the WHO more independent from pressure. 


European governments had also started to make skeptical comments about the WHO in public, with Germany's health minister urging the WHO to speed up a review of its handling of COVID-19. Privately, some Europeans have supported a tougher line, and some have criticized the head of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and what they see as politicized management of the pandemic. "Everyone has criticized Tedros," said a negotiator from a European G7 country.

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About Muddassir A. Innovator   news update

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Created on Aug 8th 2020 02:51. Viewed 347 times.


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