COVID: International inquiry needs to include elected representatives

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Geneva, Switzerland last night. This afternoon he made the opening Statement at the Plenary of World Health Assembly
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A resolution expected to be passed this week at the World Health Assembly calls for an impartial and independent evaluation of the international response to COVID-19. Drafted by the European Union and cosponsored by dozens of countries, the document asks the World Health Organization to initiate a review of its own activities and make recommendations for improvements.

According to Democracy Without Borders, an international group that advocates better accountability of global institutions, an impartial and independent inquiry needs to include members of parliament from both governing and opposition parties from all world regions.

“An international evaluation of the COVID-19 pandemic must be credible and legitimate. Parliamentarians represent the people in the most direct way and that’s why they need to play a decisive role in this investigation,” said Daniel Jositsch, a senator from Switzerland.

“An impartial inquiry should hear public testimony from experts and summon witnesses,” commented Ivone Soares, a member of parliament from Mozambique. “Citizen-elected representatives must have an opportunity to ask questions and help draw conclusions,” she added.

“There must be a rigorous assessment that looks at what actions, changes, and reforms are to be taken to prevent and manage future outbreaks. We believe this includes measures to strengthen the democratic accountability of the World Health Organization and the United Nations,” said Andreas Bummel, Executive Director of Democracy Without Borders.

Democracy Without Borders promotes the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly. “If this assembly existed, it could carry out its own independent parliamentary investigation into COVID-19 and other issues of global concern,” Mr. Bummel observed.

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