The World Health Organization WHO is all set to kick off its first-ever virtual assembly. From the usual 3 weeks, it’d be conducted within two days. However, the deteriorating relations between the USA and China are feared to derail the tough action needed to tackle the COVID-19 crisis. The meeting would solely focus on COVID-19 that in a matter of months, has killed more than 310,000 and infected another 4.7 million. This meeting will be attended by state heads, chiefs of governments, WHO and other dignitaries but considering the embittered US-China relations, it’s unlikely that the meeting would reach a unanimous global agreement.
THE US AGITATION
President Donald Trump stated unproved allegations against China that the virus originated in a lab there (though the virus is natural and has been studied as a part of biology for a long time). He has threatened to cut diplomatic relations with China and also suspended the funding for WHO alleging them of ignoring the seriousness of COVID-19 in the beginning and now was supporting Beijing.
The international meet is supposed to discuss the resolution of the European Union which calls for equitable access to COVID-19 tests, potential treatments, medical equipment, and a possible vaccine. The EU claimed this resolution to be ambitious and if it passed by consensus, it would be the first WHO time a global forum has achieved unanimous support for a COVID-19 response related text.
Also the confusion regarding the participation of Taiwan is persistent and in this meeting, this issue might be brought to the debate. The significant success of Taiwan in controlling COVID-19 has made several countries want Taiwan’s active participation in the meeting but due to the Beijing-Taiwan controversy, WHO this issue has to be voted upon that even under a normal circumstance, it would have been a long drawn process.