W.H.O. Pushes to Seal Global Pandemic Treaty as Closed-Door Talks Conclude

Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, the director general of the World Health Organisation (WHO), speaks
Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty

The World Health Organization’s (W.H.O.) drive to seal a global pandemic treaty will conclude Friday after weeks of closed-door talks in Geneva, Switzerland.

The hard stop of next week’s annual gathering of the U.N. subsidiary’s 194 member states is drawing closer which is why a deal is wanted sooner rather than later by organizers.

The health bureaucrats steering the talks must report back to the World Health Assembly — the W.H.O.’s supreme decision-making body — regardless of whether or not they have a finalised text for the assembly to consider, AFP reports.

Civil society groups following the talks from outside the meeting hall seem less than enthused an agreement will be forthcoming.

“They are negotiating, enthusiastically fighting for a speedy conclusion — but it’s not happening,” K. M. Gopakumar, senior researcher with the Third World Network, told AFP.

Giving the talks very little chance of successfully concluding on time, he said he thought countries would likely press for discussions to continue and hold talks about more talks further down the line.

Critics have already accused the organization of bureaucratic overreach in pushing to seize control of how the world responds to any future pandemic along the lines of the coronavirus outbreak.

Over 125,000 people in Britain alone have signed a petition demanding a referendum on any decision to join the so-called Pandemic Treaty.

Others suggested countries might opt to present the assembly with a skeleton deal and show agreement in principle.

WATCH — President Donald Trump in 2020: “We Are Terminating” Our Relationship with W.H.O.

White House

The rolling draft agreement is not being made public, but a version as it stood on Thursday, seen by AFP, showed large sections have been approved. The outlet further noted:

The main disputes revolve around issues of access and equity: access to pathogens detected within countries, and access to pandemic-fighting products such as vaccines derived from that knowledge.

Other tricky topics are sustainable financing, pathogen surveillance, supply chains, and the equitable distribution of not only tests, treatments and jabs, but also the means to produce them.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has already dampened hopes of a deal, saying a conclusion this week seemed “very unlikely,” as Breitbart News reported.

Nonetheless, Washington was still working to ensure that “we’re better prepared for next time,” he said.

Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: or e-mail to: skent@breitbart.com


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