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Australia Advocates Changing World Health Organization

FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization during an executive board meeting on update on the coronavirus outbreak, in Geneva, Feb. 6, 2020.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Friday his country will cooperate with “like-minded countries” to change the World Health Organization.

Morison said although Australia continues to support the agency’s work in the Pacific region, it agrees with the United States that the WHO needs to be reviewed.

“What happens at the upper echelons of these organizations, and how they operate, I think is in need of change,” Morrison said. “And Australia will continue to advocate for that change with like-minded countries who share our concerns. What ultimate decision the United States ultimately takes on funding will be a matter for them. We will certainly want to see an improved set of arrangements at the WHO, and we’ll continue to push for that.”

U.S. President Donald Trump directed his administration to freeze WHO funding, saying it did not give adequate early reports on the coronavirus.

Morrison also announced that Parliament will be in session May 12-14 for its usual legislative business and some virus-related bills. He said more sessions may be scheduled through June.

Meanwhile, authorities in Sydney closed three beaches that had been reopened to the public for exercise Monday, after people ignored social distancing guidance.