More than 120 countries are backing a UN motion to investigate the origins of the coronavirus, despite China’s objections support an upcoming call for an inquiry to be launched into the global response to the coronavirus crisis.
- The resolution was first proposed by Australia, and aimed to specifically investigate China, where the pandemic began.
- A new version tabled by the EU does not mention China by name. However, Australian sources say they still believe the general wording will allow for scrutiny of China.
- China has rejected the proposal, and says it is too early for such an investigation.
- The measure will be voted on at this week’s World Health Assembly meeting, that will be held virtually.
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More than 100 nations have expressed support for an independent inquiry to into the global response to the coronavirus pandemic, which will likely shine an unflattering light on China.
A draft resolution to bring about the investigation is being circulated among diplomats. It is being prepared for a meeting of the World Health Assembly part of the United Nations due to take place next week.
The resolution was drafted member states of the European Union, following an initial proposal by Australia for an investigation specifically aimed at China.
A draft version of the resolution listed 123 nations that had signaled their support. In order to pass, the bill requires a two-third majority of the 194-member assembly.
China has objected to the motion, saying Monday it was too early to begin such an investigation.
The explicit focus on China has been dropped, but Australian officials say they believe the scope of the resolution still allows for sufficient scrutiny of China, where COVID-19 first began to spread in the city of Wuhan.
Australian Foreign Minister Greg Hunt, as quoted by Australia’s ABC News , said he “expected it to be endorsed” in the coming two days at the conference, which is largely being held remotely.
The text of the resolution calls for an “impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation” of the “international health response to COVID-19.”