World

in Whose Interest? — Global Issues


  • Idea by Nicoletta Dentico (Roman)
  • Joint press service

According to the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), this decision marks “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to strengthen the global health architecture to protect and promote the well-being of all.” “.

The process officially began with the constitution of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB), whose job it was to weave the fabric of the negotiations, based on a draft treaty, on 1 August 2018. 2022. The INB is mandated to submit the results of its work for consideration by the 77th World Health Assembly in 2024. WHO has no aggregate experience in exercising its binding normative powers. , only used it twice in seventy-four years. Before the pandemic, the negotiated health agenda at the WHO prompted experts and civil society organizations to call for hard rules to replace voluntary regimes, which were insufficient to address the challenges escalate and expand determinants, now including commercial rules, environment, digitizing.

On the other hand, as illustrated in the Geneva Global Health Center (G2H2) report on the origins of the pandemic pact, there are cross-cutting geopolitical issues that require careful mapping of reality. caution and a questioning attitude, which the international community is now predicting for itself. a pandemic future. Does the world need a new pandemic pact?

After months of debate within the WHO Working Group on Pandemic Preparedness and Response (WGPR), there is still a lack of profound contextual evidence about the problems the new tool can and should help address.

Not even a official definition What is a pandemic in legal terms? COVID-19 isn’t the only pandemic raging around the world – the global cancer figures are startling and resigned to development due to the effects of COVID and climate change.

Other existing pandemics (such as antibiotic resistance) are not caused solely by zoonotic events – most of which is due to the wildlife trade, along with loss of nature, industrialization of livestock and habitat destruction. Should binding measures to prevent and respond to such crises instead address the widespread destruction of ecosystems? The pandemic is neither a fate nor a natural phenomenon. Report of the WHO Independent Committee on Pandemic Preparedness and Response explains that they are the unintended result of multiple governance failures, starting with a lack of international cooperation.

This unfortunate connection should be understood, as there has not been a comprehensive analysis of the reasons why governments have failed to comply with the current WHO binding regulatory framework designed to confront schools. Health emergencies: International Health Regulations (IHR), last reviewed in 2005 (after SARS).

The obligations of the IHR were supposed to guide participating countries in information sharing and cooperation against the strong and ambiguous spread of SARS-CoV-2. What is up? It is possible that the IHR is heavily oriented towards pathogen detection and prevention, and limited in terms of response steps to prevent transmission.

But can they be seriously revised and updated, as before, to include new content that draws from the unprecedented lessons of COVID-19 instead of promoting a new treaty?

The WHO Emergency Committee and alarm system must be reformed, along with increased regulatory obligations and compliance with cooperation rules: this is the terrain where most IHR violations have occurred.

One Health approaches need to be integrated into the negotiated assessment, to build capacity to better prevent and respond to the harsh lessons of COVID-19. A clear uncompromising priority is designated for sustainable finance All-people public health system and their workforce, as a staunch protector of societies during outbreaks, must replace persevering policies that favor Healthcare privatization and financialization, is over-promoted by WHO. Existing IHR provisions need to be updated and consolidated to the end.

Finally, the critical tension between global health security requirements and existing scientific management must be resolved in the interest of public health rather than private profit – COVID-19 makes it very clear that this is not an easy game. Meanwhile, things are being made more complicated. Now that pandemic treaty negotiations are being led by the INB, in tandem with the US-led IHR review, new layers of diplomatic complexity are emerging of overlapping content and processes, making reduce expectations.

The lack of common vision is demonstrated by the increasingly rapid pace of INB negotiations, for which governments are not ready – a sense of anxiety has emerged in recent European consultations on treaty elements that will offered on April 29.

Both WHO and INB claim to be considering WHO’s only other treaty precedent as guidance, the groundbreaking Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), while civil society organizations Civil society is instrumental in paving the way for FCTC and challenging the play of the tobacco industryThey now sit on the sidelines of the diplomatic process, advocating the limited space and time allowed. in the first round of public hearings.

Thanks to lengthy negotiations by the FCTC involving broad and consistent civil society participation, the WHO’s first global health treaty has strict rules and guidelines on conflicts of interest.

Twenty years later, the fact that macroeconomic forces have been allowed to form a new political underpinning for global governance through multi-alignment does not necessarily support the best-case scenario. for the formulation of the pandemic treaty.

The WHO is weakened and under-resourced, while the corporate sectors that have benefited from the pandemic in terms of market dominance – pharmaceutical companies, big tech, etc – seem to support this new negotiation. , considered to be institutionalized Super public and private partnership brought together in 2020 by major charities for the COVID-19 response.

For their part, governments are still grappling with the pandemic and its tumultuous socioeconomic effects. Meanwhile, just like a century ago, the tsunami pandemic was swept up by an international war that would transform the world and the international community.

The funeral of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is beginning to poison Geneva medical circles. This is not a good omen.

IPS UN Office


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© Inter Press Service (2022) – All rights reservedOrigin: Inter Press Service





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