The globe was caught off guard when the coronavirus pandemic suddenly erupted. The pandemic killed a great number of lives and ruined countless families and lives. What would we do in the event that a new pandemic broke out? To discuss a new international agreement that would provide an answer to this question, nations gathered in Geneva on Thursday. To begin with, the states have agreed that the agreement should be legally enforceable, according to an AFP article citing the World Health Organization (WHO). The 194 WHO members voted in December to start talks and draught a new global agreement on pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response.
According to a statement from the WHO, ‘INB members agreed, through consensus, that they will work to conclude a new, legally-binding international pandemic agreement.’
As with other international treaties, every new agreement is prepared and negotiated by governments themselves, who will act in accordance with their sovereignty, if and when member states consent to it.
New global defences that are strong enough to prevent such a nightmare in the future have been urged as a result of the economic instability and the millions of lives lost during the coronavirus crisis.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the WHO, hailed the action and declared that it will protect families and communities.
‘The importance of a legally binding instrument cannot be overstated: it will be our collective legacy for future generations.’
The Intergovernmental Negotiating Body had convened for the second time. The INB wants to guarantee improved readiness and more fair response to pandemics in the future.
The agreement is expected to be finished by May 2024. But first, there would be a lot of obstacles to overcome.
The nations’ willingness to commit to sharing information, finance, oversight mechanisms, and the ability to investigate outbreaks, among other things, may be one of the challenges.