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Over 25 world leaders call for pandemic treaty: WHO chief

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Geneva, April 2 (IANS) Over 25 leaders from “the G20, G7 and from every region” have unanimously called for an international treaty for pandemic preparedness and response, the World Health Organisation (WHO) chief said.

“The pandemic treaty would be a generational commitment to keeping the world safe from new pathogens with pandemic potential in the future,” Xinhua news agency quoted WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus while addressing a presser on Thursday.

Ghebreyesus said that there is “an acknowledgment and humility from those leaders that collectively the world was not prepared for the first coronavirus pandemic ever seen and that going forward we must collectively do better in future outbreaks.”

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Globally, Covid-19 has infected nearly 129 million people and claimed 2.83 million lives so far.

The world leaders, this week, joined the call for a pandemic treaty, which aims to prepare the world for new pathogens with pandemic potential in the future, which, according to Ghebreyesus, is “not a matter of if but when”, the report said.

Earlier on Wednesday, the WHO in a statement said that the Covid-19 pandemic is the biggest challenge to the global community since the 1940s, and that no single government or multilateral agency can address other pandemics and major health emergencies in the future.

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The new treaty will charter an all-of-government and all-of-society approach, strengthening national, regional and global capacities and resilience to future pandemics, the statement said.

It would also be rooted in the WHO constitution and supported by existing global health instruments, especially the International Health Regulations.

“We are convinced that it is our responsibility, as leaders of nations and international institutions, to ensure that the world learns the lessons of the Covid-19 pandemic,” it said.

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–IANS

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