June 26, 2024

WHO Member States Agree On Pandemic Pact Conclusion

Geneva Meet Ends On June 1, 2024

World Health Assembly (WHA) delegates, recognising the urgent need to address global health security, gathered in Geneva on May 28, 2024.

The central focus of their discussions was the imperative to finalise a pandemic agreement and strengthen the International Health Regulations (IHR, 2005), both of which have gained heightened importance in light of the lessons learned from the Covid-19 crisis.

Over two years, World Health Organization (WHO) member states have diligently collaborated to develop a comprehensive pandemic agreement.

The 77th WHA in Geneva marked a significant milestone, acknowledging the progress made. These collective efforts aim to strengthen the world’s ability to anticipate and effectively respond to future pandemics, mitigating their profound health, economic, and social impacts.

During the assembly, which is set to conclude on June 1, participating WHO member states have committed to sustaining their collaborative efforts.

Specific Objectives

Their objectives include finalising amendments to the IHR (2005) and outlining the timeline, structure, and procedural framework for completing the pandemic agreement. These aims reflect their shared determination to strengthen global health security.

Agenda item 13.4, centring on the draft pandemic agreement, was a pivotal point of discussion during the assembly.

Delegates recognised the extensive groundwork laid by the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB), led by WHO member states and the overseeing bureau.

Since its inception in December 2021, this initiative has strived to formulate the world’s inaugural pandemic accord, with the overarching goal of averting the recurrence of crises akin to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Throughout deliberations, the WHO member states underscored the imperative for a pandemic agreement grounded in principles of equity, sovereignty, and comprehensive measures encompassing prevention, preparedness, and response. Such an agreement is deemed indispensable for safeguarding future generations against the inevitability of pandemics.

Additionally, agenda item 13.3 outlined the ongoing efforts to negotiate amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005), informed by insights gleaned from the global response to Covid-19. WHO member states emphasised the criticality of bolstering these regulations to fortify global health security.

In sum, the consensus among WHA delegates underscores a commitment to fortifying global health governance mechanisms.

As the WHA meeting in Geneva progresses, stakeholders remain steadfast in pursuing a robust pandemic agreement and strengthening international health regulations. They are poised to navigate the challenges posed by emergent health threats with vigilance and efficacy.

Featured image: The Covid-19 pandemic’s impact reverberated across the globe. Credit: Edwin Hooper

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto is an award-winning journalist with wide-ranging Middle East and Asia experience in the tech, aerospace, defence, luxury watchmaking, business, automotive, and fashion verticals. He is passionate about conserving endangered native wildlife globally. Arnold enjoys 4x4 off-roading, camping and exploring global destinations off the beaten track.
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