In a report released Tuesday, upwards of 20 national leaders and global organisations called for a convention on pandemic readyness, claiming that it would secure generations to come in the aftermath of coronavirus.
However, there were little explanations given to clarify why such an arrangement would potentially force nations to cooperate further.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO, and world leaders such as the Prime Minister of the UK Boris Johnson, Premier Mario Draghi, the leader of Italy, and the President of Rwanda Paul Kagame suggested a “renewed joint pledge” to strengthen preparation and reaction processes by using the United Nations’ health agency’s framework.
During a press conference, Tedros said, “The planet can not simply wait till the pandemic is finished to begin preparations for the next one.” He said that the treaty would include a “foundation for international collaboration and unity” and would resolve concerns such as monitoring systems and outbreak response.
International health laws, which are enforced by WHO, still operate — which may be ignored by countries with no repercussions. About the fact that countries are required to exchange vital disease data and materials with WHO as soon as possible, China refused to do so when first the coronavirus emerged.
WHO authorities have had no authority to pressure them to exchange information because they lacked regulatory powers, according to a report by the Associated Press last year.
The proposed pandemic convention will have to be signed by legislators in the participating nations, according to Steven Solomon, WHO’s highest judicial officer.
“Member countries will settle on specifics on compliance,” Solomon said.
At the United Nations General Assembly in December, European Council President Charles Michel first suggested a pandemic treaty. Michel, who spoke alongside Tedros at the briefing on Tuesday, said that the international community must work together to achieve its goals.”construct a pandemic security for future generations that is much more comprehensive than the current crisis.We would do so by converting political will into tangible acts. “
The idea, according to Gian Luca Burci, a former WHO legal advisor who is now a professor at Geneva’s Graduate International institute Relations, is an effort at a “major fix” involving knowledge exchange, preparedness, and reaction, and the principle is “like a Christmas tree, honestly.”
Burci recently said, “But to me, the danger is that it diverts focus away from the mechanism that we have” — WHO’s current International Health Regulations. He expressed concern that the rules would be overlooked and only undergo “cosmetic enhancements,” but would “remain a fragile instrument fundamentally.”
Despite the fact that the commentary’s 25 signatories called for “solidarity” and stronger “societal engagement,” there was little hope that any country’s response to the pandemic would shift anytime soon. The declaration was not signed by China, Russia, or the United States of America.
The pandemic agreement might even fix problems, including exchanging vaccine technology and supplies, according to WHO enforcement officer Solomon, although he didn’t say how it would work. Given the Global Health Organization’s appeal for licenses to be waived after the pandemic, wealthy nations have opposed attempts by developing countries to push them to exchange vaccine production technologies.
Last week, Tedros pleaded with wealthier nations to contribute ten million COVID-19 vaccinations urgently so that immunization drives could be launched in all nations during the first 100 days of each year. No nation has yet made a formal offer to immediately distribute the vaccinations. The bulk of the much more than 459 million vaccinations delivered worldwide is in only ten nations, with 28 percent in just one. The countries were not identified by the WHO.