Following agreement of the World Health Assembly to launch a process to develop a global accord on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, Senior Policy Advisor, Jaume Vidal, made the following statement:

Health Action International is encouraged to see such wide support at the Special Session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) for a legally binding instrument that would improve the ability of the international community to respond to future pandemics in an effective, fair and equitable way. This had not been the case so far. Now, thankfully, the negotiating mandate for such an instrument has been adopted by the WHA, with the first meeting of the negotiating body set to take place by 1 March 2022.

In the past few days, we have added our voice to those of Member states, academics and civil society groups who doubt the possibility of bringing about the necessary changes to global health governance without the political will to address current inequalities in not only access to life-saving technologies, but also technology transfer and sharing of know-how.

The political will to move the needle seems to be there, and that should be applauded. The leadership of the European Union and the friends of the pandemic treaty in this process has been evident, and that should be noted. But we remain cautious because some of the actions taken by these same governments during the current pandemic, such as vaccine hoarding, export controls and blocking a waiver of the TRIPS agreement, contradict the stated goals of an inclusive, transparent and equitable response to future pandemics.

Now, as we move to the next stage in the process, we will join public hearings and work in other ways with civil society and other allies to shape an instrument that delivers on the promise of pandemic response based on equity, solidarity and transparency.

For interview requests and further information, please contact:
Alex Lawrence | Communications Manager | Health Action International
T: +31 20 412 4523 |