Delegation of the European Union to China

WHO - 5h Special Session of the Executive Board - EU Statement: Item 4: Update from the Co-Chairs of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response

Geneva, 06/10/2020 - 14:49, UNIQUE ID: 201006_31
Statements on behalf of the EU

Item 4. Update from the Co-Chairs of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response, the Chair of the Review Committee on the Functioning of the International Health Regulations (2005) during the COVID-19 Response and the Chair of the Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee for the WHO Health Emergencies Programme

Mr Chair,

Director General,


Ladies and Gentlemen,

I speak on behalf the EU and its Member States.

The Candidate Countries the Republic of North Macedonia[1], Montenegro[1] and Albania[1] as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this statement.

The EU welcomes the opportunity for an exchange on the work of the Independent Panel on Pandemic Preparedness and Response. We have very high expectations in terms of its impartiality, independence and comprehensiveness and highest quality possible. We thank the two co-chairs of the IPPR for their update.

We also thank the Director-General for convening a Review Committee on the Functioning of the International Health Regulations and for his collaboration with the Independent Oversight Advisory Committee, we look forward to all of these bodies working together to inform our future decision making.

In this sense, the evaluations should enable us to draw lessons from a pandemic for which we all should have been better prepared. The evaluations should also provide the international community with suggestions to improve the work of WHO and our collective preparedness and response under health emergencies.

It will then be our responsibility as Member States to guide the WHO secretariat, to translate the group's findings into concrete policy actions and to thus effectively and sustainably strengthen the global health architecture. Some of the EU Member States have already submitted, and will continue to do so, elements to feed the reflections of these various groups. For example, we also support considering the long-standing idea of creating an intermediate level of alert, but we need the expertise of the Secretariat and of the evaluation groups regarding its definition, the consequences that will be attached to its activation and the possible process for its implementation. We look forward to discussing ideas such as increased accountability of Member States on preparedness, for example through the establishment of a periodic review mechanism as proposed by the African Union and/or strengthening WHO's prerogatives in terms of access to information. Emphasis must also be placed on development of proper and unified health data collection, at all levels. Finally, we support the strengthening of tripartite cooperation between the WHO, the FAO and the OIE to foster the “one health” approach.

Ladies and Gentlemen, independent members of the various evaluation groups, the EU appeals to you: in your evaluations, do not be afraid to tell uncomfortable truths; in your recommendations, do not be afraid to challenge all us Member States, to question current modes of operation and to show boldness and vision.  

You can count on the full support of the EU and its Member States. In return, we are counting on you to keep the Member States regularly informed of the progress of your work.

Thank you very much.


[1] The Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

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