Social affairs Committee adopts by large majority report by Andrej HUNKO on rights-based response to COVID-19 pandemic

The resolution and recommendation prepared by vice-chair UEL, Mr Hunko (Die Linke, Germany) on “Lessons for the future from an effective and rights-based response to the COVID-19 pandemic” have been adopted by a large majority by the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development on 2 June.

The rapporteur concluded that “an effective response is very much linked to fast and prepared reaction; physical distancing had a huge positive effect”. The resolution calls for a reform of the WHO to allow it to better fulfil its function, therefore, full financing by the member states “to make it independent of voluntary contributions” and “parliamentary oversight and involvement are needed”, said Mr. Hunko.

The resolution also calls on member States to intensify their efforts to “evaluate the state of their health systems, pandemic preparedness and infection surveillance systems, with a view to ameliorating them as necessary, in order to guarantee free access to public high-quality health care guided by the needs of patients rather than interests in profit, regardless of their gender, nationality, religion, or socio-economic status”.

Finally, the committee recommended that the Committee of Ministers “urgently re-establish an intergovernmental steering committee on public health”, with a view to building a regional system to support the responsible international and European institutions in their reaction to a pandemic.

The report will be the first one of the five reports on the COVID 19 crisis which PACE committees are now preparing. The plenary debate on the other four reports is scheduled for autumn.

Link to press release website PACE: