WHO’s activity must not be ‘politicized’ as monkeypox threat grows, Hungary warns

Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó and WHO Secretary General Tedros Ghebreyesus. (Facebook)
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

At a time when the monkeypox virus is posing a serious risk to healthcare systems, the World Health Organization (WHO) must remain professional in its response, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said after a meeting with WHO officials in Geneva on Monday.

“If we start politicizing in the WHO as well, we are taking on the blame of not being able to prepare for this new epidemic (…) and so human lives could be in danger,” Szijjártó told reporters.

“We will need the WHO to be able to provide appropriate advice to all countries in the world in order to successfully tackle smallpox and not cause as serious a health, economic and social shock as the coronavirus pandemic did,” the Hungarian minister added.

In his speech, Szijjártó emphasized that it was extremely important for the WHO to be able to maintain its professional, pragmatic, practical operation, and no one should seek to politicize the operation of the organization in the current situation.

The Hungarian foreign minister also pointed out that there is less talk about the coronavirus today, although it is still present, and in some regions this challenge has not yet been overcome.

He emphasized that Hungary had played its part in the global defense, ensuring equal access to vaccines, and had helped several countries in need with 7 million doses of vaccine so far.

Szijjártó noted that the war in Ukraine is also a serious threat to health, as Ukraine and Russia are also among the world’s largest exporters of grain, and their exports will certainly decrease significantly, likely triggering a migration wave from poor African countries reliant on cheap grain imports.

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