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)
Despite anonymous accusations and attacks online, the Rising Star Rhythmic Gymnastics Association, founded last year by Ukraine-born Taiwanese entertainer Larisa Bakurova, has won acclaim internationally. On May 2, Bakurova announced that athletes from her association won one gold, one silver and two bronze medals at this year’s Gym Kids Eastern Cup. Bakurova, who is a former rhythmic gymnast, obtained her National ID Card to become a “new Taiwanese resident” in 2019. She said her association would continue to work hard, while expressing her appreciation for the public’s support while she faced the mud-slinging. Late last month, a netizen attacked her anonymously
Just get the landlord around to take a look at it (1/5) 請房東過來看就好了（一） B: You look like you could sleep for 1,000 years. A: Tell me about it. I’m exhausted. I’ve finally moved to the new apartment. Had I known it was going to be this much mental and physical effort… B: Well, it’s done now. You can sit back and relax in your new home. A: We still haven’t unpacked everything, the apartment looks like a bomb hit it, and we’re having a few teething problems. The whole thing is really testing my patience. B: You’re just tired. Your nerves are frayed. What kind of teething problems are you having? B: 你的樣子，看起來好像一躺下去就可以睡到天荒地老。 A:
Just get the landlord around to take a look at it (3/5) 請房東過來看就好了（三） A: We also have problems with the washing machine and the extractor fan in the bathroom. B: What’s wrong with the washing machine? A: We need to change the drain cover for the outlet pipe. The drain hole has bars going across it. I can’t get the pipe in, and if it isn’t a snug fit, it will flood the floor. B: And how about the extractor fan? What’s wrong with that? A: It doesn’t exist. A: 我們的洗衣機和浴室抽風機也有問題。 B: 洗衣機怎麼了？ A: 出水管用的排水孔，上面的蓋子必須換掉，因為排水孔的蓋子有金屬橫條，所以沒辦法把洗衣機排水管裝進去，如果沒有安裝密實，地板就會淹水。 B: 那抽風機是怎樣？是哪裡有問題？ A: 問題是沒有抽風機。 （Paul Cooper, Taipei Times／台北時報林俐凱譯） English 英文: Chinese 中文:
Just get the landlord around to take a look at it (4/5) 請房東過來看就好了（四） A: The third issue is that we wanted to put an oven in the kitchen. B: What’s stopping you? Isn’t there enough space for it? A: There’s plenty of space, but it needs a special cable. It runs on 220 volts, not 110 volts like most appliances. B: That’s just a small thing. Get in touch with the landlord and ask him to send an electrician around. If these are all the issues you’ve found with the new apartment, then you’re doing pretty well. A: I know, I know. There is one last problem, but it’s not really the