WHO Member States agree to share the results of the historic IHR and pandemic agreement processes with the World Health Assembly

WHO Member States have concluded intensive negotiations aimed at strengthening global capacities to respond to future pandemics and outbreaks in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and agreed to present the results of their work for consideration at the next Assembly World Health Organization, starting Monday.

Two parallel negotiation processes were carried out to make a series of amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005) and develop an agreement, convention or other legal instrument on pandemics for the first time.

Delegations to the 77th World Health Assembly, May 27 to June 1, will consider the outcomes of both processes and next steps for both.

“Over the past two years, WHO Member States have dedicated enormous efforts to rise to this challenge posed by COVID-19 and respond to the losses it caused, including at least 7 million lives lost,” he said. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director of the WHO. General. “COVID-19 affected everyone, in many ways, and that is why Member States began a process to develop a pandemic agreement to allow the world to be better prepared for the next pandemic. While great progress was made during these negotiations, challenges remain. “We need to use the World Health Assembly to revitalize ourselves and finish the job at hand, which is to present to the world a generational agreement on the pandemic.”

The countries today completed their resumption of 9th meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB), made up of the 194 Member States of the WHO. The INB reached initial agreement on multiple elements of the draft agreement and convergence on others. There were also areas of non-convergence and divergent opinions.

The INB Office, which has been guiding the process, will present a report outlining the more than two years of work on the process and the outcome of that work, which is the draft text that has been negotiated to date. Options for next steps to conclude the agreement process will also be submitted to the WHA for consideration.

Bureau Co-Chair Roland Driece of the Netherlands said WHO Member States remain committed to completing the pandemic agreement process and looked forward to the World Health Assembly considering progress. made in this historic initiative.

“There is clearly agreement among governments that the world must forge a new approach to combating pandemics,” Driece said. “The next steps in this essential process will now be guided by the World Health Assembly.”

Co-chair Precious Matsoso of South Africa added that the search for a generational and equitable agreement to prepare for, prevent and respond to pandemics continues. “The world must not divert its attention from the task at hand, which is to ensure that the world is better protected against the next pandemic. “This will require continued commitment and action from all parties to build the world’s collective defenses.”

The Working Group on IHR Amendments (WGIHR) will also present its results to the World Health Assembly for consideration, including some provisions for which agreement in principle was reached and others on which the IHRWG Office updated its text proposed for consideration by Member States.

The IHR, which was first adopted by the World Health Assembly in 1969 and last revised in 2005, was conceived to maximize collective efforts to manage public health events while minimizing their disruptions to public health events. travel and commerce. They have 196 States Parties, comprising the 194 WHO Member States plus Liechtenstein and the Holy See. These Parties have led the process of amending the IHR through the Working Group on Amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005) (WGIHR). Today marked the end of the resumption of the session of the eighth meeting of the GTHIH.