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Talks on global pandemic agreement end without deal

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Negotiations on a landmark global agreement on handling future pandemics have ended without a deal being finalised, but countries voiced their desire to keep pushing for an accord.

Scarred by the devastation caused by Covid-19 - which killed millions of people, severely damaged economies and crippled health systems - nations have spent two years trying to hammer out binding commitments on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.

However, the talks only gathered momentum in the last few weeks, as the fast-approaching deadline set by the World Health Organization loomed.

The WHO set today for the conclusion of an agreement before the start of the annual meeting of its 194 member states next week. "This is not a failure," Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said after the talks ended at the agency's headquarters in Switzerland.

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