Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, spoke on the telephone today to Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Minister again signalled France’s full support for the action of WHO and its Director-General in managing the COVID-19 crisis.

Jean-Yves Le Drian and his interlocutor talked about ways for the international community to prepare more effectively for future health crises. With that in mind, the Minister talked about the Franco-German proposals for strengthening the multilateral health architecture, particularly as regards improving the grading of alert levels and implementing the International Health Regulations.

The Minister and the WHO Director-General also talked about the High Council’s “One Health” project, which is designed to produce and publish reliable, independent scientific information about links between human, animal and ecosystem health, and agreed to work on this.

They highlighted the progress made on the implementation of the ACT-A Initiative, a multilateral response to the current health crisis. Launched by France, WHO and the European Commission, the initiative aims to promote the development of and universal, fair access to diagnostics, treatments and vaccines against COVID-19 and strengthen health systems. The international community must continue to rally in support of the ACT-A.

Jean-Yves Le Drian and Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus took stock of the plan for a WHO Academy in Lyon, destined to train decision-makers and health professionals from all over the world.

They agreed to continue their discussions on all these points.