GSL Research Fellow Roojin Habibi’s insights on the dilution of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) new pandemic preparedness treaty were featured in BMJ’s latest article titled “Covid-19: WHO treaty on future pandemics is being watered down, warn health leaders.” Habibi expressed concerns over the watering down of key stipulations that are crucial for preventing future global health disasters, based on leaked information.
In response to the catastrophic failures witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic, WHO’s 194 member states agreed in December 2021 to develop a new convention aimed at enhancing global health threat preparedness. The initial “zero draft” of the treaty, published in February, generated excitement as it surpassed existing legally binding frameworks, placing emphasis on crucial aspects such as information sharing, a robust health workforce, universal healthcare, and other essential requirements.
However, the leaked 42-page document that emerged during the World Health Assembly revealed that significant passages, considered pivotal for improving global health, had been weakened or made optional. This shift has raised concerns among prominent international health experts and civil society groups who argue that the revised treaty lacks the necessary provisions to effectively prevent future health crises.
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