FILE PHOTO: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of World Health Organization (WHO) attends the virtual 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA) following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Geneva, Switzerland, May 18, 2020. Christopher Black/WHO/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo
GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization will continue to lead the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic which “threatens to tear at the fabric of international cooperation”, its chief said on Tuesday.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, thanked “the many member states who have expressed their support and solidarity” at its two-day annual ministerial assembly.
He welcomed a European Union (EU) resolution, adopted by consensus by WHO’s 194 member states, that calls for an independent evaluation of the international response, “including, but not limited to, WHO’s performance”.
“We want accountability more than anyone,” Tedros said. “We will continue providing strategic leadership to coordinate the global response” to the pandemic.
He made no reference to a threat by U.S. President Donald Trump, contained in Trump’s letter to WHO tweeted overnight, to permanently halt funding for the WHO if it did not commitment to improvements within 30 days and to reconsider U.S. membership.
Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay and Emma Farge