UK pledges £340 million for WHO, calls for end to 'ugly rifts'
LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will pledge on Saturday a 30% increase in funding for the World Health Organization while urging reforms to the global health body and calling for a revival of cross-border cooperation to end 'ugly rifts'. Delivering a recorded speech to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Johnson will say the COVID-19 pandemic has increased barriers to trade
LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will pledge on Saturday a 30% increase in funding for the World Health Organization while urging reforms to the global health body and calling for a revival of cross-border cooperation to end "ugly rifts".
Delivering a recorded speech to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Johnson will say the COVID-19 pandemic has increased barriers to trade.
He will also present a five-point plan to improve the international response to future pandemics.
"After nine months of fighting COVID, the very notion of the international community looks tattered," he will say, according to advance extracts distributed by his office.
"Unless we unite and turn our fire against our common foe, we know that everyone will lose. Now is the time therefore ... for humanity to reach across borders and repair these ugly rifts."
His plan includes a global network of research hubs, more vaccine manufacturing capacity, and an agreement to reduce export tariffs imposed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He will commit an initial 71 million pounds to the global vaccine partnership known as COVAX to secure purchase rights on 27 million doses, and 500 million to a separate COVAX initiative to help poorer countries access a vaccine.
Johnson will also announce 340 million pounds ($433.23 million) in funding for the WHO spread across four years - a 30% increase on the previous four-year commitment - with around a third of the money dependent on reform to the organisation.
Britain, along with France and Germany, is expressing support for the WHO, albeit tied to reforms, when the body faces criticism over its pandemic response.
The United States gave a year's notice in July that it is leaving the U.N. agency - which was created to improve health globally - after Trump accused it of being too close to China and having mishandled the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Reporting by William James; editing by Barbara Lewis)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.