Although used to being in the crosshairs of conspiracy theorists especially over COVID-19, high-profile attempts in countries around the world to discredit the WHO’s efforts are casting a shadow over talks in Geneva this week.

GENEVA – The World Health Organization is battling a barrage of disinformation alleging it is scheming to take over health policy in sovereign nations, as it tries to chart a way forward towards averting future pandemics.

Although used to being in the crosshairs of conspiracy theorists, especially over COVID-19, high-profile attempts in countries around the world to discredit the WHO’s efforts are casting a shadow over talks in Geneva this week.

Country representatives are discussing how to pave the way for a global agreement that could eventually regulate how nations prepare for and respond to future pandemic threats.

“We may face more severe pandemics in the future and we need to be a hell of a lot better prepared than we are now,” the WHO’s emergencies director Michael Ryan told reporters recently.

“That’s going to require countries to work together.”

It is still far from clear what any future agreement would contain and whether countries will decide they want it to be a treaty or some other “legal instrument”.

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