As the world is recovering from the long lockdowns and celebrating dropping of the various mandates, the World Health Organization has started drafting an international Pandemic Preparedness Treaty. In March of 2021, twenty-five heads of government and international agencies called for a new treaty that would protect the world from a future health crisis. In their view, this is an opportunity for the world to come together as a global community, for peaceful cooperation that extends beyond this crisis. In December of 2021, the governing body of WHO, the World Health Assembly, made an agreement to start the process of drafting and negotiating an instrument under the Constitution of the WHO that would strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.
What does that mean for the rest of us? It means that the Constitution of the WHO would literally replace the Constitutions of individual nations in the area of ‘pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response.’ Disaster, as I see it, when it comes to our individual rights, our national sovereignty, and our way of life.
In his speech in January 2022, Dr. Tedros, WHO Director-General, stated that one of the priorities of WHO is to urgently strengthen WHO as the leading and directing authority on global health, at the center of the global health architecture. In his own words: “We can only prevent future pandemics with an integrated One Health approach to public health, animal health and the environment we share. Now is the time to take our partnership to a new level.”
What is even more alarming is the advancing of the timeline. In January of this year, a USA delegation to WHO submitted amendments to the IHR, International Health Regulations, that will be voted on during the General Assembly in May 22-28 of this year. If approved, these amendments would allow Regional Health Ministers to declare “Public Health Emergency of Regional Concern” without the agreement of the Country involved. It would also allow the Director-General powers to determine the criteria needed to declare a Public Health Emergency of International Concern or an Intermediate Health Alert, all while circumventing the laws and sovereignty of the member nations.
How do we respond? We need to inform our fellow humans, we need to take ownership of our lives, and we need to ask for transparency and accountability from our leadership and elected officials. It would be easy to say all is lost, but I disagree. Human spirit and love for each other is strong and will prevail. Together we will find a better way. Together we are stronger. Together we will succeed. Together!
“The truth is like a lion. You don’t have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself.” St. Augustine
Dr. Kat Lindley
Board Certified Family Physician
Steering Committee World Council for Health