The proposed International Treaty on Pandemic Prevention and Preparedness builds on the growing reach of the International Health Regulations, in transferring more power to the World Health Organisation (WHO) to declare emergencies and then require countries, under treaty obligations, to follow WHO instructions.
Download the letter of objection to WHO’s pandemic treaty to send to your government representative HERE.
The WHO is a branch of the United Nations, set up in the late 1940s to support countries in managing various aspects of health. It was intended to be subject to control by member states, taking its instructions from the World Health Assembly which is made up of health ministers of member states. However, although it was originally funded by member states, it has become increasingly dependent on funding from private foundations, and corporations, particularly those heavily involved in, or invested in, the pharmaceutical industry.
In parallel with the increase in private funding, the WHO’s focus has shifted increasingly from community-based interventions to pharmaceutical-based interventions. Sister organisations tied closely to the WHO, including the Gavi Alliance and Cepi, are also concentrated almost solely on pharmaceutical approaches. Like the WHO, they are also partly funded by taxpayers through aid budgets but heavily influenced by Pharma.
WHO staff are recruited according to national quotas, technical qualifications but also personal networks. The Director-General is appointed by the vote of the health ministers, subject to international lobbying, every 4 years. As WHO staff receive relatively high rates of pay and benefits for the health sector, many spend the bulk of their career in the organisation and so gain minimal external experience.
While the WHO itself has noted that pandemics are rare, recognising only 4 in the 120 years before 2020, Cepi is devoted entirely to pandemics. Funding within the WHO has also shifted increasingly toward a pandemic focus, with an emphasis on pharmaceutical (vaccine) approaches. A permanent international industry has been developed, at considerable cost, to deal with a rare problem that now depends on the declaration of new ‘pandemics’ to justify its existence.