In the name of preventing and fighting pandemics, the Biden Administration and international entities are negotiating an agreement that would establish a public-health technocracy. The proposed treaty, known as the “WHO Convention, Agreement or Other International Instrument on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response” — or WHO CA+, for short — would transform WHO from a purely advisory organization into one with regulatory power to enact international public policies.
What the Treaty Entails
The WHO CA+ specifically centralizes public-health power into the WHO. From the current draft of the proposed treaty:
Central role of WHO — As the directing and coordinating authority on global health, and the leader of multilateral cooperation in global health governance, WHO is fundamental to strengthening pandemic prevention, preparedness, response and recovery of health systems.
The WHO director-general would be granted the power to “declare pandemics,” at which point emergency provisions of the treaty to impose public-health policies would go into effect:
Recognizing the central role of WHO as the directing and coordinating authority on international health work, and mindful of the need for coordination with regional organizations, entities in the United Nations system and other intergovernmental organizations, the WHO Director-General shall, in accordance with terms set out herein, declare pandemics.
The WHO would be able to dictate policies if international consensus were not obtained by a vote of the two presidents and four vice presidents of the WHO CA+ (my emphasis here and subsequently):
The Officers of the Parties, as the administrative organ of the Governing Body, shall: (a) be composed of two Presidents, four Vice-Presidents and two rapporteurs, serving in their individual capacity and elected by the COP for XX years; and (b) endeavour to make decisions by consensus; however, if efforts to reach consensus are deemed by the Presidents to be unavailing, decisions may be taken by voting by the President and Vice-Presidents.
The International Court of Justice would also be granted decisive power:
When ratifying, accepting, approving, formally confirming or acceding to the WHO CA+, or at any time thereafter, a Party may declare in writing to the Depositary that, for a dispute not resolved in accordance with paragraph 1 of this Article, it accepts, as compulsory ipso facto and without special agreement, in relation to any Party accepting the same obligation: (i) submission of the dispute to the International Court of Justice; and/or (ii) ad hoc arbitration in accordance with procedures to be adopted by consensus by the Governing Body.