Jakarta: The Australian Government has welcomed the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’s announcement of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response to evaluate the world’s response into covid-19.
According to the WHO Director-General, the Panel will be co-chaired by former Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Clark and former President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Operating independently, they will choose other Panel members as well as members of an independent secretariat to provide support.
"We acknowledge the leadership and experience the distinguished co-chairs former President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and former Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Clark will bring to the Panel," Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said in a media release on Friday.
"We are also pleased the WHO Director-General will convene a special session of the WHO Executive Board on Covid−19 in September 2020," she stated.
At the historic 73rd World Health Assembly in May, Member States adopted a landmark resolution that called on WHO to initiate an independent and comprehensive evaluation of the lessons learned from the international health response to covid-19.
The World Health Assembly resolution was supported by a record number of 145 co-sponsors, including Australia.
"Australia looks forward to working with the Panel and the international community to ensure this important evaluation helps to strengthen the WHO and prevent and mitigate future pandemics," she stated.