World leaders are calling for a pandemic treaty, but details are lacking

London (AP) — Commentary released Tuesday for an international treaty to combat pandemics, where more than 20 heads of government and global institutions say they will protect future generations as a result of COVID-19 I called for it.

However, there were few details explaining how such agreements actually force countries to act more cooperatively.

World Health Organization President Tedros Adhanom Gebreyes and leaders such as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, and Rwanda President Paul Kagame will use the UN Health Organization’s Constitution to prepare and respond. He proposed a “new collective commitment” to strengthen the system. ..

“The world can’t afford to wait until the pandemic is over to make the next plan,” Tedros said in a press conference. The treaty provides a “framework for international cooperation and solidarity,” to surveillance systems and outbreaks. Correspondence.

International regulations that manage health and are enforced by WHO already exist and can be ignored in countries with little impact. For example, China refused to do so when the coronavirus first occurred, even though countries were obliged to quickly share important epidemic data and materials with WHO.

And due to lack of enforcement power, WHO personnel had little means of forcing them to share details. Discovered in last year’s AP survey.

Stephen Solomon, WHO’s chief legal officer, said the proposed pandemic treaty would need to be ratified by lawmakers in participating countries.

“Details of enforcement are up to the Member States to decide,” Solomon said.

European Council Chair Charles first presented the idea of ​​a pandemic treaty at the UN General Assembly in December. Michelle, who joined Tedros at a briefing on Tuesday, said the global community “needs to build a pandemic defense for future generations far beyond today’s crisis.” To this end, we must translate political will into concrete action. “

Gian Luca Burci, a former WHO legal adviser and now a professor at the Graduate School of International Affairs in Geneva, explained that the proposal was a “major solution” attempt involving information sharing, preparation and response, with the concept ” It’s like Christmas, frankly, the tree. “

“But the risk to me is that it distracts us from the tools we have,” said Burci, WHO’s existing International Health Regulations. He said he was afraid that these regulations would shrink in a short period of time and “although they would improve their appearance, they would basically remain a weak tool.”

The 25 signatories of the commentary called for “solidarity” and greater “social commitment,” but there were no signs of immediate change in their own approach to responding to a pandemic. Neither China, Russia nor the United States participated in signing the statement.

WHO Justice Solomon said the pandemic treaty could address issues such as vaccine technology and sharing of vaccine supplies, but did not show how that would happen. Despite the WHO’s request to waive patents during a pandemic, developed countries continue to oppose the efforts of poor countries to force sharing of vaccine manufacturing technology.

Last week, Tedros begged developed countries to donate 10 million COVID-19 vaccines immediately, allowing vaccination campaigns to begin in all countries within the first 100 days of the year. No country has yet publicly offered to share the vaccine immediately. Of the more than 459 million vaccines administered worldwide, the majority are in only 10 countries and 28% are in only one country.


James Keaten of Geneva contributed to this report.

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