World News

EU ready to take leading role in WHO reform - Germany's Spahn

FILE PHOTO: German Health Minister Jens Spahn speaks during a session of the German lower house of parliament Bundestag, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Berlin, Germany, November 6, 2020. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

GENEVA (Reuters) - The European Union (EU) is ready to take “a leading role” in strengthening the World Health Organization, which requires predictable financing, Germany’s health minister Jens Spahn told the U.N. agency’s ministerial meeting on Monday.

Spahn said that the COVID-19 pandemic was a “game changer”, revealing that no country had been adequately prepared. “We also welcome recent progress regarding the WHO-convened study of the origins of the virus and call for full transparency and cooperation during all of its phases,” he added.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, Emma Farge and Michael Shields