Global accountability to prevent pandemics

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The pandemic convention we need now


In 2021, with the support of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), and in partnership with the AHF Global Public Health Institute at the University of Miami (Florida), Club de Madrid (CdM) launched an initiative titled ‘Global Public Health After COVID-19: Multilateralism that Delivers for Improved Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response’. This project aimed to create a platform for policy discussion and advocacy on the need for renewed multilateralism in public health security. 

Throughout 2021, Club de Madrid worked with the Panel for a Global Public Health Convention (PGPHC) to prioritise the reform of the global public health system to ensure a global health architecture capable of preventing future pandemics, while also supporting the recommendations of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Prevention and Response (IPPPR), the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB), and others.  Specifically, CdM and PGPHC focused their advocacy on the need for a global treaty, convention, or international agreement and brought this to the decision-making levels in the UN system.

In 2022, since the International Negotiating Body (INB) agreed to use Article 19 of the World Health Organization, thus allowing a legally binding  convention or international agreement to be proposed to the World Health Assembly.  CdM and PGPHC unified efforts to advocate for collective leadership to muster the political will needed to achieve a pandemic convention that will help us better respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and prevent future crises.

Session description

As the escalation of the war in Ukraine and its spill-over effects began to take a serious toll on the economy, with spiking food and energy prices and mounting inflation, the COVID 19 pandemic still endures. Despite the years of pain, countries are not much better prepared to face the next health crisis. 

A global health emergency affects all aspects of life, exacerbating existing inequities and making the achievement of global goals such as the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs increasingly distant. Notwithstanding efforts to learn from previous challenges and deficiencies to better deal with crises like COVID-19, the world continues to lack effective global systems to detect, prevent and respond to life-threatening pandemics and to protect our societies and economies from these shocks.

The world needs to build a robust global public health system. The process initiated for negotiating a pandemic treaty/framework convention to strengthen the global health architecture is an essential step to that end.

Session objective

The session will have a two-fold objective:

  • To discuss the crucial elements that the pandemic framework convention should include, particularly in light of lessons learned through the COVID 19 experience.
  • To identify key actions for collective leadership to muster the political will needed to achieve a pandemic treaty/framework convention.


  • Welcome words by María Elena Agüero, Secretary General of Club de Madrid (Brief presentation of the initiative) 
  • Introduction of participants by the facilitator 
  • Ángel Gurría, Honorary Member of Club de Madrid, Member of the PGPHC 
  • Mehdi Jomaa, Member of Club de Madrid, Prime Minister of Tunisia (2014) 
  • Barbara Stocking, Chair of the Panel for a Global Public Health Convention (PGPHC) 
  • Open discussion with participants 
  • Q&A session 
  • Wrap-up and Conclusions 
  • Closing remarks by María Elena Agüero, Secretary General of Club de Madrid (2 min) 

Facilitator: José Szapocznik, Head of Secretariat at the Panel for a Global Public Health Convention (PGPHC)