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The Maastricht Diplomat

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[CGTN] China takes leading role at secret WHO meeting

The Chinese delegation has managed to take a leading role in a World Health Organization (WHO) summit on bilateral agreements with Africa, a discussion which was closed to the Chinese press.

WHO is convening for a 4-day summit, the last day of which has been unfolding behind locked doors.

Representatives are discussing the so-called ‘buddy-programme’, an education programme in cooperation with African states for the purpose of knowledge exchange. China, as the world’s leading investor in African infrastructure through its Road and Belt Initiative (BRI), assumes an expert role at the international summit. 

As the Chinese representation underlines, within and beyond the BRI, the People’s Republic engages in bilateral agreements with 57 African partners that involve over 15.000 units of personnel.

Sources that will remain anonymous have been able to catch a glimpse into the discussion room hiding behind locked doors. The Estonian representation reportedly tried to impose amendments on the buddy-programme based on their experience in bilateral agreements with African states. These agreements come in the form of an Estonian development cooperation in which the developing country contributes funds to a few infrastructure projects on the African continent.

The Estonian delegation has been further reported to approach China in informal meetings to collaborate on the matter. The Chinese delegation has blocked such attempts. 

The fact that the doors were locked towards the Chinese Global Television Network, while American Press has freely attended the meeting, raises questions of bias within the WHO. 

In the end, the Estonian proposed amendment did not pass, partly due to the Chinese vote against it. The People’s Republic’s representation managed to secure further wins. The statement “We know what developing countries need” reportedly earned approval from the room.

The summit will conclude later today. If let into the room, CGTN will report on the final resolution.

EuroMUN Committee: World Health Organization (WHO)


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