Macron calls for WHO powers to be boosted, Merkel backs call for pandemic treaty

French President Emmanuel Macron, tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), is seen on a TV screen as he attends by video conference a roundtable for the National Humanitarian Conference (NHC) at the Foreign Ministry in Paris, France

French President Emmanuel Macron called on Monday for the World Health Organization (WHO) to be empowered to visit countries rapidly in case of outbreaks with potential to spark a pandemic, and to access data.

Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in separate pre-recorded remarks to the WHO’s annual ministerial assembly, called for the U.N. agency’s funding to be improved and backed the idea of a new international treaty to prevent pandemics.

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