U.S. rejects WHO coronavirus resolution’s language on abortion, IP

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United States rejected language about reproductive healthcare and mental property rights in a World Health Organization decision on the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday, hours after President Donald Trump threatened to stop the physique.

FILE PHOTO: The headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) are pictured through the World Health Assembly (WHA) following the outbreak of the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) in Geneva, Switzerland, May 18, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

Washington didn’t block the consensus adoption of the textual content, which requires a evaluate into the worldwide response to the disaster and which diplomats had striven to go and not using a vote.

But in a press release it stated it “dissociates” from paragraphs guaranteeing the rights of poor international locations to waive mental property guidelines to acquire medicines in an emergency, and guaranteeing reproductive and sexual healthcare within the pandemic.

“The United States believes in legal protections for the unborn, and rejects any interpretation of international human rights … to require any State Party to provide access to abortion,” it stated in an “explanation of position”.

The language on mental property, designed to make sure poor international locations can have entry to drugs, sends “the wrong message to innovators who will be essential to the solutions the whole world needs”, it added.

The decision was handed after Trump, who h as accused the WHO of backing China, tweeted in a single day a letter threatening to stop the world well being physique and completely halt funding until it commits inside 30 days to enchancment.

The Geneva-based physique declined to remark on Trump’s risk to stop, saying solely that it had acquired a letter from Trump and was contemplating its contents.

Diplomats stated in the end Washington had determined to not block the decision outright, regardless of its objections.

“There is a strong desire on their part to join consensus,” a Western diplomat stated forward of adoption. Referring to the mental property problem specifically, the diplomat added: “If they don’t join, they are isolated, unfortunately. There is really a global consensus on the importance of this.”

The EU decision requires a evaluate into how the novel coronavirus unfold after making the soar from animals to people, believed to have occurred at a market within the Chinese metropolis of Wuhan late final yr.

On Monday, the WHO stated an impartial evaluate of the worldwide coronavirus response would start as quickly as doable. Even as Trump has proposed quitting, the physique acquired backing and a two-year pledge of $2 billion in funds from China’s President Xi Jinping.

The EU textual content calls on WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to provoke an “impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation” of the worldwide well being response to COVID-19 “at the earliest appropriate moment.”

During his three years in workplace, Trump has criticised many worldwide organisations and stop some. Still, European diplomats stated they had been stunned by Washington’s resolution to face apart on the WHO whereas China is boosting its position.

“It was so striking to see Xi Jinping seizing the opportunity to open up, with broad (cooperation), and make a proposal for $2 billion, and say if ever there is a vaccine they will share it with everyone,” a European diplomat stated.

“It’s exactly what we feared: the space liberated by Washington will be taken up by China.”

Reporting and writing by Stephanie Nebehay; Additional reporting by Emma Farge; Editing by Peter Graff