Health Action International statement to a session of
Intergovernmental Negotiating Body to draft and negotiate a World Health
Organization convention, agreement or other international instrument on
pandemic prevention, preparedness and response – 15 June 2022
We welcome the opportunity to share our perspective on the annotated outline
of an international instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness and
response and thank the Secretariat for the effort of compiling proposals and
contributions on the matter.
While the document intends to offer guidance on future deliberations, we
believe —as many also expressed by many governments—that greater clarity and
further assurances are needed, even at this very early stage, around certain
concepts, such as equity, universal access and benefit-sharing—how will they be
articulated, fulfilled and achieved? We do not believe that such topics can be
labelled as themes or aspirational goals as they are at the core of an
effective pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, and have been largely
side-lined in the global response to COVID-19.
We support the repeated mentions of intellectual property, transparency and
transfer of technology and while we hope they are explored in-depth in future
negotiations, we are concerned about how such topics have been discussed and
addressed at WHO in the past. Valuable initiatives like the Global Strategy on
Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual property, resolutions on
transparency or the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool have struggled to gain
traction or support by governments and other stakeholders.
Finally, we welcome the possibility for additional public interest groups
and academics to participate in the INB proceedings and acknowledge the effort
to grant geographical representation to the discussions. We remain concerned
about the possible involvement of industry-funded groups and the difficulties
of smaller delegations to fully follow future negotiations.