WHO Reaches Consensus on Future Pandemic Draft Treaty

After they managed to bridge the gap between sides led by the United States and European Union, the World Health Organisation’s members have reached a tentative consensus on Sunday to negotiate a future agreement on preventing pandemics.

The health ministers will have three days to adopt the draft resolution – which was posted on the WHO website – hammered out in negotiations over the weekend, at the WHO’s special assembly that opens on Monday.

The news on the treaty comes in light of the growing international concern raised over the by the emergence and the spread around the world of the Omicron coronavrius variant, first detected earlier this month in South Africa.

The treaty, which envisages strengthening the pandemic prevention and responses and would cover issues such as sharing data of genome sequences of emerging viruses, potential vaccines and research-derived drugs, and is expected to be ready in May 2024.

Britain’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Simon Manley, noted this treaty and the establishment of a negotiating body on a future pandemic agreement can only be called the end of the beginning.

Along with the EU, Britain is among around 70 other countries that had pushed for a legally-binding agreement, something the US and many states that gave them support,

Since December 2019 when SARS-CoV-2 emerged in China, which has still not shared its early data that might help identify the virus origin, more than 260.77 million people have been infected and 5.45 million have died.

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