Quai d’Orsay - Spokesperson’s press briefing - 15 April 2020

At the press briefing, the spokesperson answered the following questions:

  • World Health Organization (WHO)

"Q: U.S. President Donald Trump has decided to suspend U.S. payments to the World Health Organization. How do you assess this decision? What consequences will it have for the organization?

Q: Donald Trump announced overnight the suspension of US payments to the WHO. It will be recalled that the President of the Republic had recently refused to see WHO "locked" into a war between China and the USA, so a further step was taken last night. What is France’s reaction? Does France consider that the management of the WHO has been the right one or does it also have certain reservations?

A: The World Health Organization (WHO) is the only universal public health organization. It is indispensable for the management of the current crisis, which is itself global. It alone has the capacity to work with all governments to coordinate the health response and the rapid sharing of scientific information. Its action is essential to help countries with fragile health systems and to prevent the emergence of sustained outbreaks and resurgences that could affect the entire world.

In this context, we took note of the announcement of the temporary suspension of the United States contribution to the United Nations budget. We regret that announcement.

Covid-19 is a pandemic, affecting all continents and all societies. That is why France is working resolutely to promote solidarity and the greatest possible international cooperation. It is doing so within all multilateral institutions, with its major partners and, of course, with all its partners in the European Union.
We will be there, together with Europe, to help WHO pursue all its activities and to strengthen the Organization.
This crisis also shows that some things will have to be improved and strengthened. This also applies to WHO. We will need to strengthen the international health architecture, to make it more effective, better funded, and with a more rapid alert and response capacity to outbreaks".

Last updated on: 16 April 2020