World Health Organization members on Saturday extended negotiations on a landmark global agreement on handling future pandemics for up to a year, as the WHO chief warned that the next crisis was just a matter of time.

Two years of talks on a deal ended on May 24 without a finalized agreement, chiefly due to differences between well-off nations and those who felt cut adrift during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The final day of the weeklong World Health Assembly (WHA) — the decision-making annual gathering of the WHO's 194 member states — allowed until next year's meeting to reach an accord.