WHO proposes pandemic agreement, not treaty

WHO proposes pandemic agreement, not treaty

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The ninth Intergovernmental Negotiating Body meeting will be held in hybrid format from March 18 to March 28, 2024.

Ahead of the ninth meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) for a World Health Organization (WHO) instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, later this month, the WHO has started an aggressive campaign on the pandemic agreement. 

It begins like this:

Myth: The Pandemic Agreement will result in countries ceding powers over health decision making to WHO.   

Truth: The draft Pandemic Agreement text reaffirms the principle of sovereignty of States Parties.

The stated objective of the WHO pandemic agreement – no longer referred to as a treaty or accord – “is to prevent, prepare for and respond to pandemics” with “equity as the goal and outcome” and recognising the “common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities” of countries’ health systems.

The revised draft of the agreement explicitly states “the sovereign right of states to adopt, legislate and implement legislation, within their jurisdiction, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the general principles of international law, and their sovereign rights over their biological resources”.

In December 2021, the World Health Assembly had established INB to draft and negotiate a convention, agreement or other international instrument under the Constitution of the WHO to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness and response. The ninth meeting of the INB will be held in hybrid format from March 18 to March 28, 2024. 

The opening and closing plenary sessions of the INB are open to WHO Member States, Associate Members, Observers and regional economic integration organisations, as well all relevant stakeholders. These sessions will be publicly webcast and archived for later viewing. 

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WHO proposes pandemic agreement, not treaty

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