THE GOVERNING PANDEMICS INITIATIVE
Covid-19 has exposed major gaps in the global system for governing preparedness for and responses to pandemics. The Global Health Centre's Governing Pandemics initiative is tracking efforts to address these gaps. This site offers a one-stop information source on six issues that have been identified as requiring reform, and on the proposed pandemic treaty.
For each issue, the main problems, pre-Covid-19 reforms, 2021 recommendations by major international panels, and ongoing policy debates are summarized. Regular updates will be provided as efforts progress.
GOVERNING PANDEMICS 101
Pandemics such as Covid-19 pose wicked challenges for global governance. The Global Health Centre is piloting a free, open online course designed for learners who wish to follow and engage with ongoing processes to reform global arrangements for pandemic preparedness and response.
Topics include WHO; treaties; financing: sharing of data and samples; access to vaccines and drugs; trade and travel restrictions; animal-human health; human rights; humanitarian assistance; universal health coverage and geopolitics.
TIMELINE OF EFFORTS TO STRENGTHEN
GLOBAL PANDEMIC PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE
IN LIGHT OF THE COVID-19 CRISIS
27 February - 3 March: Fourth meeting of the INB and meetings of a drafting group
20-24 February: Second meeting of the Working Group on Amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005) (WG IHR)
10 February: The translated version of the zero draft in all other UN official languages will be circulated to Member States and made available to non-state actors.
1 February: An advance English version of the zero draft will be circulated to Member States and made available to non-state actors.
30 January-7 February 2023: Executive Board, 152nd session
JANUARY 9-13, 2023: IHR Review Committee #6
DECEMBER 15-16, 2022: IHR Review Committee #5
The Committee dedicated the meeting to the finalization of the third reading and analysis of proposed amendments. The Committee agreed on the Members’ respective tasks and timeline to finalize and submit the Final Report to the WHO Director-General by 15 January 2023 (meeting report).
DECEMBER 5-7, 2022: INB 3
The INB met for the third time to review and discuss the conceptual zero draft, the proposed updated timeline and deliverables, the development of the zero draft, and the establishment of drafting group modalities. Information documents used as reference during the INB 3 included:
NOVEMBER 28 - DECEMBER 2, 2022: IHR Review Committee #4
According to the meeting report, agreement was reached about the outline of the prospective Final Report – broadly addressing: general considerations on the proposed amendments and context in which they were submitted; cross-cutting themes; article-by-article/annex-by-annex analysis of proposed amendments – and the subdivision of tasks among the RC Members.
NOVEMBER 16-23, 2022: IHR Review Committee #3
The IHR Review Committee met to continue and complete the systematic review of the proposed amendments to Articles and Annexes of the IHR. According to the meeting report, the RC examined systematically all of the proposed amendments according to the criteria of Appropriateness, Clarity, Consistency, Feasibility, and other considerations. Committee Members made a number of reflections on the proposed amendments including that a number of the proposed amendments were potentially not suited for the IHR and the need for the in-depth discussions of a number of key issues at the next face-to-face meeting.
NOVEMBER 15, 2022: INB 3
The Bureau released the Conceptual zero draft for the consideration of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body at its third meeting.
NOVEMBER 14-15, 2022: Working Group on IHR Amendments
The WGIHR/1 met to elect the officers of the Bureau, organize aspects of the Working Group on Amendments to the International Health Regulations, review the process of receiving proposed amendments and establishing a Review Committee regarding amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005), review the proposed method of work, and discuss its coordination with the INB to draft and negotiate a WHO convention, agreement or other international instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.
NOVEMBER 13, 2022: The Pandemic Fund (previously the Financial Intermediary Fund)
The G20 Presidency of Indonesia, in partnership with the Pandemic Fund secretariat, officially launched The Pandemic Fund to provide long-term financing for pandemic preparedness and response. At this time, The Pandemic Fund has a total of US$1.4 billion in funding committed by 24 donors.
OCTOBER 24-28, 2022: IHR Review Committee #2
The IHR Review Committee met to present the rationale for amendments proposed by State Parties, including a meeting with Member States, United Nations and relevant organisations on 27 October. The RC agreed on the methodology for analyzing the proposed amendments to the IHR submitted by Member States, initiated the analysis of proposed amendments and formulation of technical recommendations, and reviewed and agreed on the next steps in the work plan of the Committee. In its concluding session, the Committee expressed some preliminary reflections on the proposed amendments, including transparency in its methods of work and its final report, consideration of the findings of Report of the Review Committee on the Functioning of the International Health Regulations (2005) during the COVID-19 response, and to provide clear technical guidance to member states, among others (see meeting report).
OCTOBER 6, 2022: IHR Review Committee