French President Emmanuel Macron called on Monday for the World Health Organization (WHO) to be empowered to visit countries rapidly in case of outbreaks with potential to spark a pandemic, and to access data.
Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in separate pre-recorded remarks to the WHO's annual ministerial assembly, called for the U.N. agency's funding to be improved and backed the idea of a new international treaty to prevent pandemics.
The COVID-19 pandemic is being perpetuated by a "scandalous inequity" in vaccine distribution, the head of the WHO said on Monday.
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, addressing its annual ministerial assembly, urged countries to donate vaccine doses to the COVAX mechanism to inoculate 10% of populations of all countries by September, and 30% by year-end.
Tedros also called on vaccine manufacturers to give COVAX the first right of refusal on new volumes of vaccines, or to commit 50% of their volumes to COVAX this year.