One World Government - First Steps - The Intergovernmental Negotiating Body

When the COVID-19 pandemic got underway, many of the draconian measures swiftly mandated in the U.S. and the world directly resulted from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2005 International Health Regulations (IHR). Now, as COVID restrictions are being lifted and humanity is distracted by the situation in Ukraine, the WHO’s focus has pivoted to “kickstart the process” of dealing with the next global pandemic.

On Dec. 1, 2021, the 194 members of the WHO’s World Health Assembly established an intergovernmental negotiating body (INB) to draft and negotiate an “international instrument” on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response. The next meeting to decide working timelines is noted to occur by Mar. 1, 2022.

The intergovernmental negotiating body, which includes the United States (represented by Chief delegate Mr. X Becerra), aims to “deliver a progress report to the 76th World Health Assembly in 2023,” with the proposed world governing instrument ready for legal implementation in 2024. In Dec. 2021, speaking of the “consensus decision aimed at protecting the world from future infectious diseases crises,” WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus remarked:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on the many flaws in the global system to protect people from pandemics: the most vulnerable people going without vaccines; health workers without needed equipment to perform their life-saving work; and ‘me-first’ approaches that stymie the global solidarity needed to deal with a global threat.

But at the same time, we have seen inspiring demonstrations of scientific and political collaboration, from the rapid development of vaccines, to today’s commitment by countries to negotiate a global accord that will help to keep future generations safer from the impacts of pandemics.”

At the Dec. 1, 2021, meeting, held in Special Session for the second time ever since the WHO’s founding in 1948, the Health Assembly adopted “a sole decision title” for the new global initiative called “The World Together.” According to the WHO, the international pandemic agreement drafted and negotiated by the INB will be adopted “under Article 19 of the WHO Constitution, or other provisions of the Constitution” as deemed appropriate by the INB. Article 19 states:

The Health Assembly shall have authority to adopt conventions or agreements with respect to any matter within the competence of the Organisation. A two-thirds vote of the Health Assembly shall be required for the adoption of such conventions or agreements, which shall come into force for each Member when accepted by it in accordance with its constitutional processes.

The timeline established by the Health Assembly directs the INB to hold its first meeting by Mar. 1, 2022, and its second meeting to discuss progress by Aug. 2022. The WHO explains, “It will also hold public hearings to inform its deliberations; deliver a progress report to the 76th World Health Assembly in 2023, and submit its outcome for consideration by the 77th World Health Assembly in 2024.”

The WHO’s role in the COVID-19 hospital protocols is significant and is disputed by many experts. As pointed out by attorney Todd Callender, the protocols are passed down hierarchically from the WHO to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institute of Health (NIH). He explained the protocols came to life via the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) and authorization from Health and Human Services (HHS) to release funding for the pandemic.

According to Callender, the CDC and NIH protocols are based on the WHO’s 2005 IHRs that direct each of its signatory countries to cede all sovereign powers to the WHO in the case of a declared health emergency. As previously reported by UncoverDC, under the WHO’s emergency declaration, when these protocols are passed down to the hospitals that take the funding, “patients’ rights are waived under the CMS COVID waiver program” in conjunction with the PREP and CARES Act, giving participating hospitals legal immunity.

As the WHO aggressively pushes to expand its role in dictating the narrative of the “next pandemic—centering squarely on vaccines—mainstream media is paying little attention. Meanwhile, acutely aware of what increased additional power to the WHO represents, Callendar sums up the current pandemic following the WHO’s declaration of an international emergency, stating:

“The WHO then directed the various state health bodies—in this case, the CDC and NIH—on treatment. This is why every country is responding in the same way at the same time globally; it’s a back door to a one-world dictatorial government.”

World Health Assembly Special Session 2: (March 2022) - Openings for stronger governance of the silent antibiotic resistance pandemic

Member States decided on an ambitious timeline whereby an Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) would be established and held its first meeting by March 2022.

A first draft of a new legal instrument would be developed already by July 2022 and the ambition is to adopt this instrument during the 77th World Health Assembly in 2024.

The WHA74 Special Session on Pandemic Preparedness and Response – an opportunity to address antibiotic resistance (including link to ReAct Europe briefing note published before session)

Building on the current political momentum it is important that the efforts now do not become too narrowly focused on addressing “another coronavirus epidemic”, but takes a wider view on pandemic preparedness. Many Member States called for a “whole-of-government” and “whole-of-society” response in their interventions during the WHASS2.

This notion should be central to a new legal instrument. The upcoming 150th session of the Executive Board on 24-29 January 2022 is an opportunity to place antibiotic resistance back on the agenda in the context of pandemic preparedness efforts – both as it relates to the revision of the IHRs, as well as in the context of the new legal instrument. The recommendations listed within the first comprehensive review of the current ‘Global Action Plan on AMR’ published in September this year might help guide such discussions on where action needs to be further bolstered.

The COVID-19 pandemic has in many ways exposed the boundaries of current global health cooperation. To achieve a sustainable path forward to address current and future pandemics cornerstones such as transparency, needs-driven research and development, and above all – equity should be at the centre of efforts to establish a new global agreement.

Concluding in the words of Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus:

“There is still a long road ahead.”

Download This article as PDF: Openings for stronger governance of the silent antibiotic resistance pandemic

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