WHO Member States agree on path forward to conclude pandemic agreement

The World Health Assembly (WHA) today recognized the progress made over the past two years by Member States to develop an agreement on pandemics and strengthen the International Health Regulations (IHR, 2005). Governments meeting in Geneva for the 77th World Health Assembly are in talks to advance these two efforts, which aim to increase the world’s capacity to prevent and better respond to the threat of future pandemics.

WHO Member States agreed to continue working during the World Health Assembly, which ends on June 1, with the aim of:

  • finalize the IHR amendment package (2005)
  • agree on the timing, format and process to conclude the pandemic agreement.

During today’s session, the World Health Assembly considered agenda item 13.4 on the draft agreement on the pandemic for the first time. The delegates recognized the extensive work carried out by the Member States-led Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB), and the Office leading the work, since governments launched the process in December 2021 to develop the world’s first pandemic agreement to prevent repeat global health, economic and social problems. Social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Member States reiterated that the world needs a pandemic agreement based on the principles of equity, sovereignty and prevention, preparedness and response, and to ensure that future generations are protected from the threat of inevitable future pandemics.

World Health Assembly delegates also considered agenda item 13.3, which set out the work done to negotiate amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005) to build on lessons learned from the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. .

Member States stressed that it was essential to reach agreement on an updated and stricter International Health Regulation to ensure global health security.