26 June 2020 - 75th anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter
Meeting of the Alliance for Multilateralism on the global health architecture and infodemics
75 years ago, the Charter of the United Nations was signed. Today, we have every reason to treasure what has been built on the ruins of wars but we also have reason to remain engaged and vigilant.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically demonstrated how crucial multilateral institutions are to our collective health, prosperity, and security. COVID-19 has not only led to a health crisis. It has also accelerated and aggravated earlier developments, such as a push in some corners to limit the freedom of the media on the one hand and to spread rumors and conspiracy theories on the other. Reliable, fact-based information enables people to protect their health and that of their communities and might therefore now be more essential than ever.
On the 75th anniversary of the United Nations Charter, Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and Heiko Maas, German Minister for Foreign Affairs, chaired a ministerial meeting of the Alliance for Multilateralism via video conference, on the strengthening of the multilateral architecture for health and the fight against infodemics. Nearly 50 ministers from all regions of the world took part in this meeting, along with the heads of the WHO, UNESCO and Reporters without Borders.
The World Health Assembly, which took place from May 18 to 19, demonstrated the international community’s broad support for multilateral management of health issues. The resolution on Covid-19 adopted by consensus, at the initiative of the European Union, notably underscored the WHO’s coordinating role in the management of the health crisis and the need to work toward strengthening global health governance. The meeting of the Alliance for Multilateralism provided an opportunity to explore practical ways to reform and modernize the global health system. Proposals included strengthening health systems at the national level, supporting the implementation International Health Regulations (IHR), improving the financial margin of manoeuver for the WHO and taking account of the increasingly strong links between human and animal health. These measures would effectively strengthen the multilateral health architecture and prevent future crises.
The alliance underlined the crucial importance of free, independent media. Reporters without Borders announced the launch of an ad hoc workgroup on infodemics by the Partnership for Information and Democracy.