EU should lead reform of WTO, WHO: EU's von der Leyen

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen gives her first State of the Union speech at a plenary session of European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium September 16, 2020. Olivier Hoslet/Pool via REUTERS

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union is a firm believer in strong international bodies and should lead reforms of the World Trade Organization and the World Health Organization, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday.

Von der Leyen told EU lawmakers that the need to revitalise and reform the multilateral system had never been so urgent.

“Our global system has grown into a creeping paralysis. Major powers are either pulling out of institutions or taking them hostage for their own interests,” she said.

“Yes, we want change. But change by design – not by

destruction,” she continued.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop