Geneva, May 29 (BNA): The countries of the world on Saturday adopted a preliminary US-led reform of rules related to disease outbreaks, known as the International Health Regulations (IHR), the United States said.
The amendments, which were adopted at the WHO Assembly, were agreed at a meeting seen as a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the UN health agency to strengthen its role after nearly 15 million deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic. , Reuters reported.
The hack – Article 59 amendments to the regulations that will speed implementation of the reforms – came after early opposition from Africa and others was overcome this week.
The changes sought by Washington, with support from other countries such as Japan and the European Union, represent a first step in a broader reform of global health regulations, which set out countries’ legal obligations on disease outbreaks, and is expected to take up to two years.
Sheba Crocker, US Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, hailed the initial amendments and the agreement to form a working group to consider purposeful substantive amendments as a “significant achievement”.
“The updated and up-to-date International Health Regulations will help all countries and will ensure that we have the information, resources, capabilities and transparency needed to address global health crises in the future,” she said in a statement.