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2021-November-30  19:10

Beijing Says China Hopes WHO-Led Treaty on Future Pandemics Will Not Be Politicized

TEHRAN (FNA)- China is open to any effort contributing to better global preparedness for future pandemics but expects any related international legal documents to be free of politicization, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Tuesday.

"China is open to any efforts and measures that can contribute to strengthening global solidarity and coordination of response measures to further pandemics," Zhao said at a briefing, RIA Novosti reported.

He added that Beijing is ready to maintain contact and coordination on the prospective agreement with all parties concerned.

"We hope the process will be conducted within the United Nations and the WHO to ensure inclusive participation of member-states and avoid politicization and stigmatization," Zhao said. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has been promoting the idea of an international treaty on pandemic preparedness for over a year. Earlier in November, he said that such an agreement is the best way to "safeguard our children’s future and to be better prepared for any future health threat and crisis".

WHO is holding a special World Health Assembly session from Monday to Wednesday where member states are expected to consider working out an international agreement on pandemic preparedness. The special session has been convened amid the spread of the new Omicron coronavirus strain believed to be the most dangerous by far.

The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of the WHO, which meets each May to discuss a specific agenda prepared by the Executive Board. It normally gathers all member states, associate members and observers, as well as specially invited UN representatives, intergovernmental organizations, and non-state actors. The special session on pandemic preparedness is the second in the organization's history.