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Future talks for a global agreement to prevent pandemics have been planned by 194 WHO member countries.

In order to offer a draft agreement for adoption by the World Health Assembly in May 2024, countries that are members of the World Health Organization have outlined how discussions on a worldwide agreement on pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response will proceed. Discussions on the draft pandemic pact concluded on Thursday during the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body’s (INB) sixth meeting, which includes the 194 WHO member nations.

“Countries from all over the world were able to discuss their ideas, concerns, and suggestions in a forum for all countries to hear and consider,” said Ms. Precious Matsoso, co-chair of the INB Bureau and a South African. Countries concurred that a window for additional written suggestions would remain open until 22 April and that those proposals, along with all those submitted in recent weeks, would be combined into a package that would be made available to all drafting group members.

The INB Bureau will subsequently provide a Bureau’s Text, including choices when practical, based on all submissions received and contained in the compilation document, by May 22 in addition to this package for consideration by the Drafting Group. The INB Drafting Group will then get together in June to continue discussions. “The world realizes that what we want and need to achieve is an accord that will help us not to repeat the mistakes of the COVID-19 pandemic response,” INB Bureau Co-Chair Roland Driece of the Netherlands remarked. There are a lot of ideas and good suggestions for doing this on the table.

Negotiations on the draft pandemic accord will attempt to create a final document for consideration by the 77th World Health Assembly in May 2024, in accordance with the procedure agreed upon by nations at a special session of the World Health Assembly in late 2021. Governments are negotiating more than 300 amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) concurrently with the pandemic accord negotiations in an effort to strengthen those rules, make the world safer from communicable diseases, and ensure greater equity in the international response to public health emergencies.

Governments have been working to make sure that the INB and IHR processes are uniform and aligned. The proposed IHR modifications will also be offered to the World Health Assembly in 2024 and will offer a comprehensive, complementary, and synergistic set of international health accords when combined with a future pandemic treaty.

More About Pandemic

A pandemic is an outbreak of a disease that spreads worldwide, affecting large numbers of people across many countries and continents. The most recent pandemic is the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus, which first emerged in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and quickly spread across the globe, resulting in millions of deaths and massive disruptions to societies and economies.

Pandemics are caused by infectious diseases that are highly contagious and easily transmitted from person to person. They can be caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, and other pathogens. The severity of a pandemic depends on the characteristics of the pathogen, how easily it spreads, and the vulnerability of the population.

To respond to a pandemic, governments and health organizations implement a range of measures to slow the spread of the disease, such as social distancing, wearing masks, and quarantining infected individuals. Vaccines are also a critical tool in preventing and controlling pandemics, and many countries have launched vaccination campaigns to protect their populations.

The World Health Organization (WHO) plays a key role in coordinating the global response to pandemics, providing guidance and technical support to countries, and monitoring the spread of the disease. It works closely with other international organizations, governments, and civil society to ensure a coordinated and effective response.

More About WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health. It was established on April 7, 1948, and has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The organization’s primary objective is to promote health, keep the world safe, and serve the vulnerable. WHO’s functions include providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries, and monitoring and assessing health trends. Some of the major global health challenges that

WHO works to address include infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases, mental health, environmental health, and emergency preparedness and response. WHO has 194 member states, and it works in partnership with many international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and civil society organizations to achieve its objectives.

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