World leaders convene to address coronavirus crisis response

May 18, 2020

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Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is shown standing at a wooden podium with the blue WHO flag next to him.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of World Health Organization speaks at the virtual 73rd World Health Assembly following the coronavirus outbreak in Geneva, Switzerland, May 18, 2020.


Christopher Black/WHO/handout via Reuters

It’s an unprecedented time and situation: “A microscopic virus has brought us to our knees,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres at the start of the 73rd annual World Health Assembly on Monday. Leaders from around the world convened, for the first time virtually, for two days of meetings to address the world’s response to the global pandemic. And, Brazil, one of the world’s coronavirus epicenters, is now navigating the coronavirus crisis without a health minister after Nelson Taich resigned on Friday. Also, a principal in New Zealand has posted a catchy YouTube video as health advice for her students returning after lockdown encouraging them to stay out of each other’s “moist breath zone.”

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Rwandan genocide suspect found after decades; The dangers of 'vaccine nationalism'; Probe launched after Trump ousts State Dept. watchdog

After two decades at large, Félicien Kabuga, one of the accused perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide, has been apprehended. And, the World Health Organization is convening a global assembly to coordinate the fight against the coronavirus, but diplomatic rows could undermine the effort. And some warn of the risks of "vaccine nationalism." Also, in New York's Little Manila, the community is coming together to take care of Filipino health workers, who play an outsize role in US health care.

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Discussion: Lessons from the coronavirus pandemic to avert a future crisis


The coronavirus pandemic has underscored the critical role of public health in protecting people around the world. But the crisis has also exposed the need for more investment to help prevent a pandemic of this magnitude from happening again. As part of our weekly series taking your questions to the experts, The World's Elana Gordon moderated a discussion with Dr. Howard Koh of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.


A 26-year manhunt for Rwandan genocide fugitive ends

“Félicien Kabuga has always been one of the most wanted fugitives,” said Serge Brammertz, chief prosecutor of the United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals. “He has always been considered as being one of the masterminds in relation to the genocide” in Rwanda.