World Health Organization (WHO) officials said the organization is getting closer to finding a consensus on the negotiation of an international agreement to prevent future pandemics, despite the fact that Washington is still opposed to making the accord legally binding.
At the WHO, Diplomats Are Now Negotiating A Future Global Agreement
With the World Health Organization’s handling of the COVID-19 outbreak being criticized, health ministers from all 194 member nations will meet a three-day extraordinary conference on Monday to achieve an agreement on boosting the organization’s capabilities to deal with epidemics.
In the words of diplomats, the United States has drawn a “red line” by indicating that it does not want at this moment to commit to a legally binding treaty but does support the notion of an agreement, which is supported by both Brazil and India. It has been reported by a senior EU official that the EU is striving hard for a treaty that creates explicit obligations and has the backing of 70 countries. The two sides are in the process of negotiating, he noted, and although there is an “increasing agreement” on the wording, he added that there are still talks going on. Any action they take will need a continuous commitment from the highest levels of government and a structure that allows engagement and preparation at the highest levels to be performed in a more organized way.
According to the European official, Chinese diplomats have engaged in the discussions and have shown no resistance to a treaty. More than 5.4 million people have died throughout the globe since the SARS-CoV-2 virus was identified in central China in December of this year. As of this writing, the World Health Organization reports that China has not yet released any of its preliminary data that may be useful in determining the virus’s origin.
A global agreement is intended to cover issues such as the interchange of data and sequencing the genomes of novel viruses. Still, negotiations have so far not focused on the specific text of the agreement itself. Another Western official said that it was quite likely that we would agree to the establishment of a new international discussion organization. What needs to be resolved is the exact legal nature of this circumstance and under which article of the World Health Organization’s Constitution it would be classified.
Although the Americans have been highly accommodating throughout the discussions, it has been clear that they do not oppose a treaty at any point over the course of the negotiations. However, at this time, they are keen on maintaining the secrecy around the particular legal basis of the transaction that we negotiate. Despite opposition from the World Health Organization, TedrosAdhanomGheybreyesus has endorsed the deal on draught water protection.
Tedros told reporters on Wednesday that countries would almost surely come to an agreement on the requirement of a legally binding pact to tackle the threat of pandemics if they worked together. Because there is no universal consensus on the necessity for such a tool, he finds it encouraging.