WHO Agrees To Start Talks on Global Pandemic Treaty

The World Health Organization, through the World Health Assembly has agreed to kickstart a global process to draft and negotiate a convention, agreement, or other international instrument to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response.

The Health Assembly met in a special session, only the second special session since WHO’s founding in 1948, and adopted a sole decision titled: “The World Together.” The decision by the Assembly establishes an intergovernmental negotiating body (INB) to draft and negotiate a WHO convention, agreement, or other international instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, with a view to adoption under the WHO’s authority. The INB will hold its first meeting by March 1, 2022 to agree on ways of working and timelines and will hold a second meeting by August 1, 2022 to discuss progress on a working draft.

The INB will also hold public hearings to inform its deliberations, deliver a progress report to the 76th World Health Assembly in 2023, and submit its outcome for consideration by the 77th World Health Assembly in 2024.

Through the decision, the World Health Assembly also requested the WHO Director-General to convene the INB meetings and support its work, including by facilitating the participation of other United Nations system bodies, non-state actors, and other relevant stakeholders in the process to the extent decided by the INB.

Source: World Health Organization