WHO strikes Myanmar off from annual meet

Kolkata, India: Faced with a dilemma to recognize Myanmar's legitimate representation following the February coup, World Health Organization members decided to keep Myanmar out of their annual meeting on Wednesday.

The 74th World Health Assembly had received petitions to represent Myanmar from both the country's deposed civilian administration and the military junta that seized power nearly four months ago.

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, this year's meeting of the WHO's main decision-making body, which began Monday and ends June 1, is regarded as one of the most critical ever.

To avert similar disasters, it has been suggested that the UN health agency, as well as the entire global approach to health, be revamped.

A WHO committee in charge of validating nation delegation credentials advised deferring a decision on who should represent Myanmar at the crucial conference "waiting for guidance from the United Nations General Assembly" on how the UN system as a whole should approach the issue.

According to the plan, which was agreed by WHO member states without a vote Wednesday morning, "no one would represent Myanmar at the Seventy-fourth World Health Assembly."

Myanmar has been in upheaval since the putsch on February 1, which spurred near-daily protests and a nationwide civil disobedience movement.

According to a local monitoring group, the military has killed over 800 civilians in a crackdown on the opposition.

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