German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas spoke on Friday in favour of strengthening the World Health Organisation amid the coronavirus pandemic, positioning himself against US President Donald Trump.
“The WHO is playing an indispensable role in this pandemic. We have to strengthen it now, support it and then position it better for the future than ever before,” Maas said on Friday. “Criticism is always allowed, but it must be constructive.”
Trump earlier said the WHO “really blew” their response to the pandemic. In particular, the UN agency was too focused on China and gave the US wrong recommendations at the beginning of the crisis, he said, and threatened to halt US financial contributions.
The UN Security Council discussed the coronavirus crisis for the first time on Thursday, a move which was welcomed by Maas.
“We can only overcome this crisis together and in solidarity. For that we need a strong United Nations and a strong Security Council,” the foreign minister said.