IHF at WHA75: Constituency Statement to Support Adoption of a Pandemic Treaty

Date:  24 May 2022

The 75th session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) took place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 22 to 28 May 2022.

The IHF participated in WHA75 by jointly submitting a statement supporting the adoption of a Pandemic Treaty founded upon the values of human rights, equity, and solidarity.

The statement was signed by the IHF alongside the Global Health Council, International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care Inc., International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Stichting Global Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS, The International Society for Quality in Health Care Company Limited by Guarantee, the Task Force for Global Health, World Federation of Public Health Associations, and the World Organization of Family Doctors.

We support the adoption of a Pandemic Treaty founded upon the values of human rights, equity, and solidarity.

Because the actors involved in any response to a future pandemic are varied, for such an instrument to be effective, it must result from strong multilateralism, with equal respect and participation afforded to all partners involved, including nonstate organizations committed to the public interest.

It must embrace the wide range of individuals, communities, governments, and the private sector necessary to prevent epidemics and strengthen social protection and health systems, including the protection of the workforce’s health a workforce that extends beyond the health professions, such as doctors, nurses, and social workers, and includes service workers, such as bus drivers, janitors, and supermarket clerks. It must also include environmental health officers, who are increasingly 
necessary in an ailing world.

For any Pandemic Treaty to be effective, it must likewise centre community engagement, educate
and involve community members, employ effective communication strategies throughout, and thereby foster trust without public confidence in the process and its policies, any instrument is doomed to fail.

Moreover, the Treaty must ensure an equitable distribution of resources, from financial assistance to vaccine access, knowledge sharing and technology transfer. It must safeguard the health of the marginalized.

Further, it must acknowledge that any instrument needs to integrate palliative care into primary health care, including the training of healthcare workers and the availability of related medicines to all regardless of economic status and thereby ensure that those already affected by other diseases, and those who cannot be saved, are guaranteed a dignified death.
It must ensure that preparedness and response interventions are environmentally sustainable and in line with climate commitments.

Lastly, for the instrument to be meaningful, it requires accountability and transparency mechanisms.

Written by:

Katherine Bennett

News & insights

Look into our latest...

Women in leadership: Acting for today and inspiring the next generation

On 14 May 2024, the Women in Leadership Special Interest Group hosted its latest webinar with participation from healthcare executives...

Crafting the Congress programme: A look behind the scenes

Every year the IHF, with a local hosting member, organizes the World Hospital Congress. This event brings together healthcare executives...

World Health Day 2024

A call for equitable healthcare in the Western Pacific 7 April is World Health Day, and the theme for 2024...

Sharing the benefits and building capacity for sustainable healthcare in the US

With a growing body of research demonstrating both cost savings and enhanced employee engagement, leadership interest in environmental sustainability continues...