The World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Commission — the executive branch of the European Union (EU) — on Monday launched a “landmark digital health partnership” marking the beginning of the WHO Global Digital Health Certification Network (GDHCN) to promote a global interoperable digital vaccine passport.
Beginning this month, the WHO will adopt the EU’s system of digital COVID-19 certification “to establish a global system that will help facilitate global mobility and protect citizens across the world from on-going and future health threats, including pandemics,” according to Monday’s announcements by the WHO and the European Commission.
WHO & @EU_Commission launch landmark digital health initiative to help protect people across the world from on-going & future health threats
This is the first building block of the WHO Global Digital Health Certification Network that will develop a wide range of digital products… pic.twitter.com/IPlxn8wAXv
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) June 5, 2023
The WHO and European Commission claim the GDHCN initiative, which has been in the works since 2021, “will develop a wide range of digital products to deliver better health for all.”
The organizations said the WHO will not collect individuals’ personal data via these digital passports — stating that such data collection “would continue to be the exclusive domain of governments.”
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus lauded the new agreement:
“Building on the EU’s highly successful digital certification network, WHO aims to offer all WHO Member States access to an open-source digital health tool, which is based on the principles of equity, innovation, transparency and data protection and privacy.
“New digital health products in development aim to help people everywhere receive quality health services quickly and more effectively.”
However, experts who spoke with The Defender said the ramifications of such a system for human liberty and freedom of movement raised concerns.
Independent journalist James Roguski told The Defender the WHO is not waiting for a successful conclusion of these negotiations in order to implement initiatives such as a global digital vaccine passport. He said:
“The announcement by the WHO and the European Commission regarding the launch of their digital health partnership was hardly a surprise. Over a month ago, the WHO quietly published that they were working on ‘operationalizing’ the very things that were being ‘negotiated.’
“This is just one example that clearly shows that the super-secret ‘negotiations’ regarding the International Health Regulations (IHR) are a charade.”