Thursday, August 12, 2021

New International Treaty to Improve Pandemic Preparedness and Response

In March of this year, twenty-six nations and the World Health Organization (WHO) called for the development of a new international treaty to improve pandemic preparedness and response in light of the COVID-19. Viruses, like so many modern problems, do not respect borders. Accordingly, better cooperation and coordination among the international community would make prevention and response to future pandemics more effective. 

Since that call, the  roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccines brought some hope that the end of the pandemic was in sight, but the rapid rise of the Delta variant quickly dashed those hopes and further demonstrated the need for international cooperation. According to WHO Director General Tedros, the COVID-19 pandemic is being driven by the lack of sharing of information, technology. and resources.

At the World Health Assembly in May 2021. 194 nations agreed to discuss a new international treaty to address pandemics at a special meeting this coming November and December 2021. The negotiations for this new treaty will be conducted under the auspices of WHO.  While negotiating a new treaty is likely to be a slow process, it is at least a step in the right direction.


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