SENATOR THE HON PENNY WONG

LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY IN THE SENATE

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

LABOR SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA

CHRIS BOWEN MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH

MEMBER FOR MCMAHON

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

20 May 2020

WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION ON COVID-19 REVIEW

Labor welcomes the passage and formal adoption of the World Health Assembly resolution overnight to enact a review coordinated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Member States into the COVID-19 pandemic.

Labor has consistently supported an impartial inquiry into the virus to ensure we learn the lessons from COVID-19 and improve pandemic prevention, preparedness and response capacity across the globe.

The European Union led motion, supported by the Australian Government and over 130 countries, shows the kind of international cooperation we need in a crisis like this pandemic. Labor believes it is in every country’s interest to get to the bottom of this and ensure it never happens again.

The Australian Government now needs to clarify how the proposed review will work and explain how Australia will constructively engage as a Member State to ensure the kind of independent investigation it had called for occurs.

The Government should also explain what it will do to ensure this review will deliver real results, unlike previous pandemic reviews which have not been well supported by WHO member states.

Throughout the COVID-19 health emergency Labor has supported the Government’s efforts wherever possible and provided constructive feedback whenever necessary.

Labor will continue to support Australia’s role in this review, and will hold the Government to account to ensure they productively contribute to the high quality, comprehensive and independent review process that is needed.

Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra.