GENEVA (NEWSnet/AP) — World Health Organization said member nations on Saturday approved steps to improve global preparedness for pandemics like COVID-19 and mpox, and set a deadline for agreeing on a broader treaty.

Countries agreed to amend International Health Regulations, which were most recently were updated in 2005. Revisions include defining the term “pandemic emergency” and helping developing countries to gain better access to financing and medical products.

The move came as the U.N. agency ended its six-day World Health Assembly.

Countries also vowed to complete negotiations on a pandemic accord within a year, WHO said.

Members have defined a pandemic emergency as a communicable disease that has a “wide geographical spread” or high risk of one, and has exceeded or could exceed the ability of national health systems to respond.

Follow NEWSnet on Facebook and X platform to get our headlines in your social feeds.

Copyright 2024 NEWSnet and The Associated Press. All rights reserved.