U.S. MISSION TO THE UNITED NATIONS
Office of Press and Public Diplomacy
April 20, 2020
Explanation of Position on resolution “International Cooperation to ensure global access to medicines, vaccines and medical equipment to face COVID-19”
The United States remains deeply committed to working with the global community to respond to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. While the United States generally supports the resolution titled “International Cooperation to ensure global access to medicines, vaccines and medical equipment to face COVID-19,” the United States disassociates from Operative Paragraph 1 related to the World Health Organization’s “crucial leading role” in the COVID-19 outbreak. While the United States acknowledges the WHO should play a role in the efforts to end this outbreak, we remain seriously concerned with the lack of independence that the WHO has shown since the beginning of this pandemic.
As its largest contributor, the United States has a particular interest in the World Health Organization’s performance, transparency, and accountability. In order to advance the health and security of our nation and all nations, the United States announced on April 14 that the U.S. Government will place a hold on funding to the WHO pending a review of the organization’s mismanagement of the novel coronavirus outbreak. We insist that the WHO advance the health of people around the world in a transparent, science-based manner which incorporates accountability into the system. We want to save lives and expect that those institutions we fund share and further that noble goal.
In addition, the United States disassociates from Operative Paragraph 5 due to our concerns with the language regarding the creation of a new UN interagency task force. We have serious concerns about how the World Health Organization has responded to the pandemic and the creation of layers of UN bureaucracy devoid of controls to ensure independence, accountability, and transparency, is both unnecessary and unwise.
The United States requests that this Explanation of Position be made part of the record of the proceedings.