More than 20 heads of government and global agencies in a commentary published Tuesday last week called for an international treaty for pandemic preparedness that they say will protect future generations in the wake of COVID-19.
But there were few details to explain how such an agreement might actually compel countries to act more cooperatively.
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and leaders including Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain, Premier Mario Draghi of Italy and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda proposed “a renewed collective commitment” to reinforce preparedness and response systems by leveraging the UN health agency’s constitution.
Photo: AFP 照片：法新社
International regulations governing health and implemented by the WHO already exist — and can be disregarded by countries with few consequences. Despite an obligation for nations to share critical epidemic data and materials quickly with the WHO, for example, China declined to do so when the coronavirus first broke out. And with no enforcement powers, WHO officials had little means of compelling them to share details, an AP investigation last year found. Steven Solomon, the WHO’s principal legal officer, said the proposed pandemic treaty would need to be ratified by lawmakers in the participating countries. European Council President Charles Michel first laid out the idea of a pandemic treaty at the UN General Assembly in December last year.
Although the 25 signatories of the commentary called for “solidarity,” and greater “societal commitment,” there was no indication any country would soon change its own approach to responding to the pandemic. China, Russia and the United States didn’t join in signing the statement.(AP)
With the nation in the middle of a long period of drought, the water level at Sun Moon Lake has dropped significantly, exposing numerous objects that had been sitting at the bottom of the lake. One visitor who incautiously dropped his iPhone into the lake one year ago was recently reacquainted with his long-lost gadget as a result of the severe drought. The tourist, surnamed Chen, shared the news on the Facebook group “Baofei Commune.” Chen says he took part in a stand up paddle board activity one year ago at Sun Moon Lake. Chen says that he fell into the
A: How’s the house-hunting going? Have you found yourself a new apartment yet? B: We’ve just started looking, but we’re not having too much luck. A: Where are you looking? B: Anywhere will do, to be honest, so long as it’s near an MRT station. I would prefer to be reasonably close to work. A: 你房子找得怎麼樣了？找到新公寓了嗎？ B: 我們才剛開始找，可是手氣不太好。 A: 你要找的是哪裡的房子啊？ B: 其實地點不拘，只要離捷運站近就可以了。我比較偏向找離我上班地點近一點的地方。 （Paul Cooper, Taipei Times／台北時報林俐凱譯） English 英文: Chinese 中文:
A: How much are you willing to pay for rent? B: Well, we’re thinking of NT$20,000 per month, but we could stretch it to NT$25,000. A: I think you might have to aim slightly higher. I doubt you’ll find a nice place for that. You could try, but you might be looking for a long time. B: I’m happy to spend a good whack of my salary on renting a comfortable apartment, but my partner would prefer to rent a smaller place and save to buy later on. A: 你房租預算是多少？ B: 嗯，我們大概預估月租兩萬，不過也可以提高到兩萬五啦。 A: 我覺得你可能需要把預算稍微調高一點，不然你這種預算大概找不到什麼好房子。你還是可以用這個價位試試看啦，不過可能要花很長的時間才找得到。 B: 我是很願意砸薪水來租一間住起來舒服的公寓，可是我的另一半寧可租小一點的房子，把錢省下來以後買房。 （Paul Cooper, Taipei