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WHO's new pandemic treaty

9 March, 2023

The Lancet Global Health recently carried an editorial reviewing “WHO's new pandemic treaty: promises of equity should be kept” (https://doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(23)00121-3).  The “Zero draft” of this treaty is available here: https://apps.who.int/gb/inb/pdf_files/inb4/A_INB4_3-en.pdf .

As the Lancet editorial remarks, “The global response to COVID-19 was a failure. As of Feb 21, 2023, there have been more than 750 million cases and 6.8 million deaths attributed to COVID-19. Nations once thought of as well prepared for pandemics, such as the USA and UK, have suffered hundreds of thousands of excess deaths. When the next pandemic comes, the world must do better. And the WHO accord on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response (WHO CA+) is our first inclination of what better could look like.”

The Lancet notes that “During the COVID-19 pandemic, wealthy nations have been hoarding supplies of vaccines, diagnostic devices, and personal protective equipment, to the detriment of less wealthy nations. The draft WHO CA+ not only acknowledges that this inequity was a “catastrophic failure”, but it also emphasises achieving equity in future responses.”

Overall, “The draft WHO CA+ represents a genuinely positive step towards a more equitable pandemic response relative to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Chris Zielinski

Centre for Global Health, University of Winchester, UK  and

Vice President, World Association of Medical Editors (WAME)

Blogs; http://ziggytheblue.wordpress.com and http://ziggytheblue.tumblr.com

Publications: http://www.researchgate.net and https://winchester.academia.edu/ChrisZielinski/

HIFA profile: Chris Zielinski: As a Visiting Fellow and Lecturer at the Centre for Global Health, University of Winchester, Chris leads the Partnerships in Health Information (Phi) programme, which supports knowledge development and brokers healthcare information exchanges of all kinds. He is the elected Vice President (and President-in-Waiting) of the World Association of Medical Editors. Chris has held senior positions in publishing and knowledge management with WHO in Brazzaville, Geneva, Cairo and New Delhi, with FAO in Rome, ILO in Geneva, and UNIDO in Vienna. He served on WHO's Ethical Review Committee, and was an originator of the African Health Observatory. He also spent three years in London as Chief Executive of the Authors Licensing and Collecting Society. Chris has been a director of the UK Copyright Licensing Agency, Educational Recording Agency, and International Association of Audiovisual Writers and Directors. He has served on the boards of several NGOs and ethics groupings (information and computer ethics and bioethics). chris AT chriszielinski.com. His publications are at https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Chris-Zielinski and https://winchester.academia.edu/ChrisZielinski/ and his blogs are http://ziggytheblue.wordrpress.com and https://www.tumblr.com/blog/ziggytheblue