LONDON & MIAMI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Panel for a Global Public Health Convention (PGPHC) commends G7 leaders for their commitment to work together to making safe and effective vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics available within 100 days of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern being declared. A remarkable commitment in speeding the response to pandemics.
We also support the G7 leaders call for an expert-driven, transparent and independent process to investigate outbreaks of unknown origin. However, a similar transparent and independent process – perhaps in the form of an inspectorate – is needed to validate information coming from countries on their preparedness and response to outbreaks and pandemics. We are concerned that the G7 Declaration suggests that accountability and compliance can be achieved through existing evaluation methods. The current Joint External Evaluations which relies on countries’ self-reports, may fail to be objective, transparent or independent.
We are encouraged by the G7 leaders’ commitment to a multilateral consensus for health security by supporting a potential treaty. However, they are willing to wait until November for a Special World Health Assembly meeting, when member states will consider whether a treaty process should be launched. This process is too slow. We can do better, faster.
We also question whether WHO is the right place for such a treaty. Pandemics affect all of government and all of society, including security, finance, economy, health, labor, education, social welfare, and much more. A Pandemic Prevention Treaty must be negotiated at the level of heads of states. The implementation and monitoring of treaty provisions must also occur at heads of state level.
The G7’s “The 100 DAYS Mission” Report recommends the need for guidance, “rules of the road”, on pandemic prevention and response but does not consider mechanisms to ensure that countries comply with such guidance. We must build on the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic. With many countries failing to comply with existing guidance, the world has been left at risk.
The Panel for a Global Public Health Convention (PGPHC) is an independent coalition of global leaders working to strengthen the world’s ability to prevent, prepare, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks before they become widespread pandemics. The Panel was founded in 2020 in response to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic with the aim of bridging critical gaps in the global public health architecture and policy frameworks by promulgating a new global public health treaty or convention in an effort to ensure another pandemic of such magnitude does not happen again. To learn more, visit www.gphcpanel.org, and follow us on Twitter @GPHC_Panel.
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Project Manger, Panel for a Global Public Health Convention