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Australia prime minister supports changes to World Health Organization

/ 03:21 PM April 24, 2020

A crew member on the the Ruby Princess displays a sign as the ship departs from Port Kembla in Wollongong, Australia, Thursday, April 23, 2020. The ocean liner became notorious as Australia’s largest single source of coronavirus infections and is the center of a criminal investigation over the sickness’ spread set off a month after it was ordered by police to leave. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

CANBERRA, Australia — Australia’s prime minister has said his government will cooperate with like-minded countries to change the World Health Organization (WHO).

Australian said it agrees with the United States that the United Nation’s agency needs to be reviewed, but Australia continues to support the agency’s valuable work in the Pacific. President Donald Trump has directed his administration to freeze WHO funding, claiming it didn’t deliver adequate early reports on the coronavirus.

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters on Friday: “What happens at the upper echelons of these organizations, and how they operate, I think is in need of change.”

“Australia will continue to advocate for that change with like-minded countries who share our concerns,” Morrison said.

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“What ultimate decision the United States ultimately takes on funding will be a matter for them. We will certainly want to see an improved set of arrangements at the WHO, and we’ll continue to push for that through the forums as a participant, as a member, as someone who understands and publicly states the value of the work that it does on the ground. So, I think that’s a constructive but not uncritical partner,” he added.

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