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By Keean Bexte
Multiple governments have committed to signing the WHO global pandemic treaty, which will cede health sovereignty to the World Health Organization.
Who is supporting the WHO’s pandemic treaty?
UPDATE: India has joined the list of countries that support giving the WHO more powers.
At the second Global COVID Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “It is clear that a coordinated global response is required to combat future health emergencies. We must build a resilient global supply chain and enable equitable access to vaccines and medicines… We also call for streamlining WHO’s approval process for vaccines and therapeutics to keep supply chains stable and predictable. As a responsible member of the global community, India is ready to play a key role in these efforts.”
On March 30, the World Health Organization published the following list of 25 world leaders who have committed to working together “towards a new international treaty for pandemic preparedness and response”:
Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine; Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway; António Luís Santos da Costa, Prime Minister of Portugal; Mario Draghi, Prime Minister of Italy; Klaus Iohannis, President of Romania; Emmanuel Macron, President of France; Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany; Charles Michel, President of the European Council; Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Prime Minister of Greece; Pedro Sánchez, Prime Minister of Spain; Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands; Sebastián Piñera, President of Chile; Aleksandar Vučić, President of Serbia; Andrej Plenković, Prime Minister of Croatia; Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea; J. V. Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji; Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand; Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda; Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya; Carlos Alvarado Quesada, President of Costa Rica; Edi Rama, Prime Minister of Albania; Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa; Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago; Kais Saied, President of Tunisia; Macky Sall, President of Senegal; Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia; and, of course, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization. [Emphasis added and order altered]
Canada, the US, Australia, and New Zealand can be added to this list.
On November 29, 2021, the Canadian Press confirmed that “Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos says Canada supports the development of a new global convention on pandemic preparedness and response that will be debated at a special meeting of the World Health Assembly today.”
As for the US, the Biden administration is leading the charge in amending the WHO’s International Health Regulations, with the explicit purpose of increasing the surveillance capacity of the WHO and expanding its power to enforce their regulations.
The amendments the Biden administration has proposed will be expanded upon below.
Australia has also been influential, with Ambassador Sally Mansfield helping draft the decision to have the World Health Assembly begin negotiating the pandemic treaty.
New Zealand, of course, also supports signing away its health sovereignty, with Director-General Tedros personally thanking New Zealand’s foreign minister for doing so.
“It is an honour to welcome the Honourable Nanaia Mahuta to WHO and to express my deep gratitude to New Zealand for its leadership in public health and invaluable support to WHO, including the pandemic treaty and increase in assessed contributions,” said Tedros in February.
Meanwhile, the UK under Boris Johnson appears to be one of the biggest supporters of creating a global pandemic treaty, with Johnson personally contributing to a joint article proclaiming the need for a “One Health” approach that would see the WHO take over the health care decisions of nearly every nation on the planet.
“… We believe that nations should work together towards a new international treaty for pandemic preparedness and response,” Johnson writes.
“The main goal of this treaty would be to foster an all of government and all of society approach, strengthening national, regional and global capacities and resilience to future pandemics. This includes greatly enhancing international co-operation to improve, for example, alert systems, data-sharing, research and local, regional and global production and distribution of medical and public health counter-measures such as vaccines, medicines, diagnostics and personal protective equipment,” Johnson continues.
“It would also include recognition of a “One Health” approach that connects the health of humans, animals and our planet. And such a treaty should lead to more mutual accountability and shared responsibility, transparency and co-operation within the international system and with its rules and norms.”
While the term “mutual accountability” is vague, Director-General Tedros has indicated he believes that “exploring the sanctions may be important.” Yes, Tedros believes that sanctioning countries for not abiding by the World Health Organization’s rules should be on the table. This could be what Johnson means by “mutual accountability.”
As it stands, The Counter Signal has yet to find a world leader who has explicitly stated that they will oppose the pandemic treaty or amendments to the International Health Regulations, though more MPs, Congressmen, and MEPs are sounding the alarm now that information on the treaty has been proliferated.
What is the global pandemic treaty, and why is it so worrisome?
The treaty is to be upheld by the WHO’s constitution, which under Article 19 “[provides] the World Health Assembly with the authority to adopt conventions or agreements on any matter within WHO’s competence.” [Emphasis added]
This authority was initially designed to pertain only to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control but is being expanded to include dictating Member States’ future pandemic responses.
“When there is a health crisis or a pandemic like we’ve just been through, the World Health Organization will be able to dictate terms,” author Nick Corbishley said during an interview with The Epoch Times.
“They will be able to tell countries, more or less, how to respond.”
As pointed out by MP Leslyn Lewis, the treaty would also allow the WHO to determine what a pandemic is and when one is occurring, even over something non-viral like an obesity crisis. This would effectively give the organization the authority to take control of member states’ healthcare systems whenever they feel necessary.
“Of even more concern, if this treaty is enshrined, the WHO would be in full control over what gets called a pandemic,” Lewis wrote in a statement.
“They could dictate how our doctors can respond, which drugs can and can’t be used, or which vaccines are approved. We would end up with a one-size-fits-all approach for the entire world… A one-size-fits-all response to a health crisis doesn’t even work across Canada, let alone the entire globe.”
Many have expressed concerns over the treaty; however, some are less convinced it will pass.
For example, while author Matt Ridley acknowledges that the pandemic treaty poses an immense threat to democracy and would possibly give China, through its control over Director-General Tedros and the WHO, unprecedented power over nation-states, he thinks that it won’t be able to pass the US Senate and that China would never agree to possibly being superseded by its own “pet international agency.”
“The European Union, true to form, pushed for a legally binding pandemic “treaty” instead, but that won’t happen for two reasons: the American Senate would need a two-thirds majority to ratify it; and the Chinese government would not allow even its pet international agency to tell it what to do,” Ridley writes.
“But the accord would still have substantial force of international law behind it, to make governments impose domestic lockdowns, for example – despite the WHO’s own figures showing little correlation between lockdown severity and death rates.”
However, while it’s possible that Ridley’s correct, it appears that the Biden administration has found a workaround in case the new pandemic treaty isn’t passed: simply amending the already-existing International Health Regulations so that they contain the powers the WHO wants their pandemic treaty to grant them.
What amendments is the Biden administration proposing?
The Biden administration sent its proposal to the World Health Organization on January 18, but this wasn’t made public until April 12 — likely to lessen the public backlash that more time would have allowed to develop. Member states will vote on the proposed amendments in less than a week between May 22 and 28 during the 75th World Health Assembly.
According to the proposal, any amendments to the International Health Regulations (which have thus far been used to justify lockdowns, border closures, and discriminatory vaccine mandates) would immediately come into effect for all member states.
“Pursuant to paragraph 3 of Article 55 of the International Health Regulations (2005), any amendments to the Regulations adopted by the Health Assembly would come into force for all States Parties on the same terms, and subject to the same rights and obligations, as provided for in Article 22 of the Constitution of WHO and Articles 59 to 64 of the International Health Regulations (2005),” the proposal reads.
As for the stated amendments being proposed, the Biden administration is recommending the following: intensifying health surveillance; creating a global communication network that is in a constant state of assessing risks and reporting to the WHO; giving the WHO the authority to tell other member states when one member state isn’t reporting in and recommending they take action; giving Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus the authority to declare when a pandemic or emergency is occurring; giving the WHO the authority to determine what steps a country should take in its pandemic response; and giving the WHO the ability to mobilize capital in the event of a pandemic.
As Dr. Peter Breggin explains, “Under the new regulations, WHO will not be required to consult with the identified nation beforehand to “verify” the event before taking action. This requirement is stricken by the US amendments (Article 9.1). The amendments require a response in 24 hours from the identified nation, or WHO will identify it as “rejection” and act independently (Article 10.3). If the identified nation “does not accept the offer of collaboration within 48 hours, WHO shall… immediately share with the other State Parties the information available to it…” (Article 10.4).”
“…. Under the proposed regulations, WHO itself would develop and update “early warning criteria for assessing and progressively updating the national, regional, or global risk posed by an event of unknown causes or sources…” (New article 5). Notice that the health-endangering event may be so nonspecific as to have “unknown causes or sources.” Thus, Tedros and any future Director-Generals of WHO will be given unrestricted powers to define and then implement their interventions.”
“The proposed regulations, in combination with existing ones, allow action to be taken by WHO, “If the Director-General considers, based on an assessment under these Regulations, that a potential or actual public health emergency of international concern is occurring…” (Article 12.2). That is, Tedros need only “consider” that a “potential or actual” risk is occurring.”
Additionally, a recent WHO White Paper has indicated the organization intends to create a “Global Health Emergency Council” that will include a “Review Committee on the Functioning of the International Health Regulations” that will hasten the process of making more amendments in the future.
“But to build further trust and strengthen global governance for health emergencies, amending certain articles of the IHR, while strengthening their implementation, is necessary. Such targeted amendments should make the instrument more agile and flexible and should facilitate compliance with its provisions,” the White Paper reads.
“A related issue is the need to streamline the process to bring IHR amendments into force, which at present can take up to two years. Ensuring that the IHR can be efficiently and effectively amended to accommodate evolving global health requirements is key to their continued relevance and effectiveness. A targeted amendment to achieve this streamlining has been proposed and is currently being discussed informally. The approval of this proposal at the 75th World Health Assembly will contribute substantially to ensuring that the IHR remains a foundational and relevant global health legal instrument.”
posted by Weaver
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