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World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced today that former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark have agreed to co-chair an Independent panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response “to help us understand what happened – an honest assessment – and to help us understand also what we should do to prevent such a tragedy in the future”.

The decision to establish an independent group to evaluate the response to the Covid-19 pandemic was taken at the virtual World Health Assembly in May. “I cannot imagine two more strong-minded, independent leaders to help guide us through this critical learning process”, Tedros said in an address to WHO member states.