WHO Member States to negotiate to finalize agreement on pandemics


WHO Member States have agreed to resume negotiations between April 29 and May 10 aimed at finalizing an agreement on pandemics. The decision was taken following two weeks of intense country-led discussions on crucial topics, the aim of which was to ensure that all countries are better prepared for future pandemics and able to respond effectively and equitably.

Government negotiators discussed all articles of the draft agreement, including adequate funding for pandemic preparedness, equitable access to medical countermeasures to be adopted in the event of a pandemic and strengthening health personnel. health.

“Member States are fully aware of the importance of the pandemic agreement so that future generations do not have to relive the suffering we endured during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the Director-General of WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “They have made an unambiguous commitment to finding common ground and finalizing this historic agreement ahead of the World Health Assembly, and I thank them for that. »

The resumption of the ninth meeting of the intergovernmental negotiating body next month will be a crucial step ahead of the Seventy-seventh World Health Assembly, which opens on 27 May 2024, during which Member States must consider the proposed global agreement on pandemics – the first of its kind – with a view to its adoption.

Dr. Precious Matsoso, Co-Chair of the Bureau of the negotiating body, said: “Governments are fully aware that the objective of a pandemic agreement is to prepare to be able to prevent future pandemics. and respond to them, based on consensus, solidarity and equity. These goals must continue to guide us as we finalize this historic commitment that the entire world needs urgently. We know that if we fail, we will fail in our obligations to humanity, including to all those who have suffered from COVID-19, as well as to populations who would be threatened by future pandemics. »

In December 2021, the World Health Assembly met in extraordinary session – the second since the founding of the WHO in 1948 – and decided to establish the intergovernmental negotiating body to draft and negotiate a convention , a WHO agreement or other international instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response. Other United Nations system organizations, non-State actors, other relevant stakeholders and the general public took part in the process.

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