Rome, September 4, 2021
Secretary Xavier Becerra met with Director General Tedros of the World Health Organization on the margins of the G20 Health Ministers Meeting in Rome, Italy. Secretary Becerra underscored the Administration’s support for a strong, effective, and agile WHO, as the essential multilateral health institution. The United States is demonstrating strong support for WHO strengthening through its work in the Member State Working Group on Pandemic Preparedness and Response. Secretary Becerra discussed the continued U.S. interest and support for WHO’s Phase 2 origins study and pledged to nominate experts and provide technical assistance to the effort. The two leaders discussed the global effort to get vaccination shots in every arm around the world and U.S. efforts to scale up vaccine manufacture, access, and outreach. DG Tedros provided assurances on the WHO’s continued efforts to address sexual exploitation and abuse allegations against WHO staff in Africa, including improving both transparency and accountability measures. Both Secretary Becerra and DG Tedros pledged support to reengage on the U.S.-WHO Strategic Dialogue and hold a high-level meeting in early 2022.