//
you're reading...
Health & Environment

Coalition of 62 countries backs joint Australian, EU push for independent inquiry into coronavirus outbreak


People tested for coronavirus in Wuhan

People tested for coronavirus in Wuhan

A coalition of 62 countries has backed a joint Australian and European Union push for an independent inquiry into the coronavirus outbreak ahead of a crucial World Health Assembly (WHA) meeting tomorrow in Geneva.

Australia was the first nation to call for an independent inquiry into how the coronavirus started.

That drew furious condemnation from Beijing, which accused Australia of launching a political attack on China. But international support for the idea has been steadily growing.

The Morrison Government has now swung its diplomatic firepower behind the European Union, which has also been pressing for an investigation while taking a more conciliatory line with Beijing.

European nations and Australia have been rallying support for a draft EU motion which calls for an “impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation” of “the WHO-coordinated international health response to COVID-19”.

As of Sunday evening, Canberra time, 62 nations — including Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, Russia, South Africa and the United Kingdom — had backed the motion.

The motion does not specifically mention China or the city of Wuhan where the outbreak is believed to have begun.

But it does say the WHO should work with the World Organisation for Animal Health to conduct “scientific and collaborative field missions” and “identify the zoonotic source of the virus and the route of introduction to the human population, including the possible role of intermediate hosts”.

Australian Government sources said the language was strong enough to ensure that a proper and thorough investigation took place, although they are still calling this a “first step” towards ensuring transparency.

At this stage neither China nor the US have backed the motion. EU and Australian diplomats were still working on Sunday to convince both major powers to give their support.

In a statement, Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne said: “There is positive support for an independent review into the pandemic to help the world learn the lessons necessary to protect global health.

“Australia and a significant number of countries are co-sponsoring the EU-led resolution, which includes a call for an impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation.

“This is about collaborating to equip the international community to better prevent or counter the next pandemic and keep our citizens safe.”

The EU’s spokeswoman for foreign affairs, Virginie Battu-Henriksson, said the organisation was focused on reaching a consensus for an inquiry.

“Of course, we need to have the support of all the major players, and China is one of them,” she told the ABC.

Meanwhile, US diplomats have been pressing for tougher language that specifically calls for a probe into how the virus started in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have both furiously denounced China’s initial response to the virus, accusing it of covering up the initial outbreak and allowing it to spread around the world.

But Ms Battu-Henriksson said the EU was focused on “really getting together and finding a solution which is workable for all”.

“For us, it is not the moment for us to enter any kind of blame game as we’ve seen in narratives from one part or another of the world,” she said.

Source: ABC – Coalition of 62 countries backs joint Australian, EU push for independent inquiry into coronavirus outbreak

About China News

China News is a collection of original and reposted news and articles about China, collected from the best sites around the web. It is also a place for writers about China to promote their own sites.

Discussion

One thought on “Coalition of 62 countries backs joint Australian, EU push for independent inquiry into coronavirus outbreak

  1. Reblogged this on uwerolandgross.

    Like

    Posted by uwe.roland.gross | May 17, 2020, 6:25 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

China News

China News is not affiliated in any way with any publication in China or anywhere else.

Enter your email address to receive an email each time an article is published, or join our RSS feed. 100% FREE.

Join 3,706 other followers

Want to write for China News?

Read “Contributor Guidelines” above to join our team of 76 contributors. Write news or opinion about issues in China, or post photos and video. Promote your own site.

Recent Posts

China News Articles Have Been Featured In:

%d bloggers like this: