WHO Election of Syria and Belarus to Board of Trustees Raises “Serious Concern” from US
State Department has “serious concerns” over the election of Syria and Belarus to three-year terms on the board of directors of the World Health Assembly (WHO), spokesperson says .
“Board members each have a duty to advance public health and are expected to uphold universal values and human rights,” the spokesperson told Fox News. “This includes providing unhindered access for the delivery of life-saving humanitarian supplies, including medical supplies, regardless of where the beneficiaries live. We do not believe that the actions of Syria or Belarus on demonstrate. “
The Management Board is made up of 34 Member States.
The spokesperson noted that new members are nominated by their regions and that no member state outside their region has a say in the matter. The United States is currently not on the board, but will “closely monitor” the board’s activities and push for reforms at the WHO to increase “transparency and accountability.”
“It is no secret that Syria and Belarus do not uphold universal values and human rights. As we know, Syria continues to hamper unhindered access to humanitarian aid vital to its citizens in addition to targeting medical facilities and first responders and carrying out chemical weapons attacks against civilians, ”the spokesperson said.
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“In Belarus, the regime continues to carry out mass detentions, police brutality and other human rights abuses against peaceful protesters, journalists and other members of Belarusian civil society.
The Biden administration announced last week that it would reimpose sanctions on Belarus after the president Alexander Lukashenko forced the hijacking of a Ryanair commercial flight last week under false pretenses to arrest a journalist on board. In addition, a bipartisan group of lawmakers traveled to Lithuania to meet Belarusian opposition leader Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya and send a united message against human rights violations committed by Lukashenko.
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In Syria, a country ravaged by a decade-long civil war where more than 80 percent of the population live below the poverty line, a Human Rights Watch report found that government authorities “brutally suppressed any sign of recurrence of dissent, including through arbitrary arrests and torture. . “
The United States has stepped up pressure on the WHO after being accused of acting obediently towards China, especially in its investigation into the origins of COVID-19. This investigation revealed the theory of an “extremely unlikely” laboratory leak and found probable the possibility of animal-to-human transmission.
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Health and Social Services Secretary Xavier Becerra told WHO last week it needed to launch a more “transparent” investigation into the origins of the pandemic amid mounting evidence that the virus may have escaped from the pandemic. Wuhan Institute of Virology laboratory in China.
the Biden The administration joined the WHO this year after President Trump severed ties with the organization, but has remained critical of the lack of transparency.