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G20 will continue reforming WHO — Russian sherpa

The reason that the WHO was reportedly inefficient at the first stages of the pandemic is underfunding, according to the official

MOSCOW, November 20. /TASS/. The inefficiency of the World Health Organization (WHO) at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic was caused by it being underfunded, Russian G20 Sherpa Svetlana Lukash said. She added that the G20 will continue working on reforming the organization.

"The WHO has been the subject of criticism due to its reaction to the pandemic. On the other hand, the need to raise its efficiency has been pressing for a long time. Russia has always stressed that there is no alternative to the WHO, however, its potential must be strengthened," she said during a briefing on Friday. "Why was the WHO reportedly inefficient at the first stages of the pandemic? Simply because it was underfunded," she added. According to the sherpa, "this organization must always be at the center of all international efforts to prevent any crises in the sphere of healthcare and ensure common approaches to healthcare systems in all countries."

"This year, the G20 fought for reaffirming the key role of the WHO, agreeing that the WHO must remain at the center of the efforts, but of course, its efficiency should be raised," Lukash stated. She noted that the reform of key global bodies will continue, and the G20 is working on it.

When asked about the work of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Lukash recalled that Russia supports its reformation. "This is a very difficult matter, but we have reached certain progress this year. Despite the situation within the WTO itself and the essential block of a number of its key functions, the G20 discussed the possibilities of resuming this work, raising the efficiency of WTO managing bodies," the Russian sherpa stressed. "We hope that the reform will continue, because there is no alternative to the WTO, all global trade must be regulated based on clear universal rules, and only the WTO can ensure a unified approach and equal rules for everyone," Lukash stated.