Portugal backs call for “world pandemic treaty”

Portugal’s prime minister António Costa is one of the many political figures who have signed their names today to an open letter published in newspapers around the world calling for a global treaty to prepare for future pandemics coming down the line.

Covid-19 has posed the “greatest challenge for the global community since the late 1940s”, says the text championed by the World Health Organisation. It has shown that “nobody is safe until everybody is safe” – and as such cross-border cooperation in the event of a similar crisis needs to be assured.

Says the letter signed by more than 20 leaders, including Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s President Macron: “There will be other pandemics and other major health emergencies. No single government or multilateral agency can address this threat alone. The question is not if, but when…”

Explain reports in Portugal, the principal objective of the new international treaty is to promote a comprehensive approach to strengthen national, regional and global capacities as well as “resilience to future pandemics”.

Strangely absent from the call however have been China, the United States and Russia.

Says Lusa, the eventual treaty would fall under the scope of the World Health Organisation.

The full list of signatories follows: Italian prime minister Mario Draghi; Klaus Iohannis, President of Romania; Boris Johnson, British PM; Emmanuel Macron, President of France; Angela Merkel, German chancellor; Charles Michel, president of the European Council, Mark Rutte, prime minister of Holland; Pedro Sanchez, head of the Spanish government; Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Greek PM; Paul Kagame, President of Ruanda; Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya; Prayut Chan-o-cha, prime minister of Thailand; Moon Jae-in, President of the Korean Republic; Sebastián Piñera, President of Chile; Carlos Alvarado Quesada, President of Costa Rica; Edi Rama, prime minister of Albania; Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa; Kais Saied, President da Tunisia; Erna Solberg, prime minister of Norway; Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia; Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukrania; Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, diretor-general of the World Health Organisation.

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