Global accountability to prevent pandemics

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GPHC Panel Praises the Independent Panel Report on Global Health Reforms, but Says Compliance Will be Challenging

LONDON & MIAMI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Panel for a Global Public Health Convention (GPHC) praised today the publication of the final report by the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPPR) which calls for a new pandemics treaty and reforms of the global public health governance.

The report offers an unparalleled level of analysis on the timeline and key factors that contributed to an inadequate global response to COVID-19, however its recommendations will face a similar challenge to previous attempts to reform global health – how to ensure countries implement the recommendations and follow through on commitments to do better next time?

“This is a thorough report, and we salute the Rt Hon. Helen Clark and Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for their leadership and exceptional commitment to objectivity as co-chairs of the IPPPR and the entire team who worked on the report,” said Dame Barbara Stocking, Chair of the GPHC Panel and President of Edward Murray College, Cambridge. “We are in agreement on the need for a Pandemic Framework Convention, sustainable financing for preparedness and response, transparency, and the need for these commitments to be made at the level of heads of state. However, we foresee that without a strong accountability component, such as an inspectorate mechanism and compliance enhancing provisions, it would be difficult to ensure a sufficient level of conformity among countries.”

The IPPPR was convened by the World Health Organization Director-General in response to a World Health Assembly resolution adopted in May 2020. The Independent Panel’s mission is to provide an evidence-based path for the future, grounded in lessons of the present and the past to ensure countries and global institutions effectively address health threats. The report is a culmination of eight months of work by the Independent Panel which is available from their website here.

The GPHC Panel has also advanced proposals for the comprehensive reforms of the global public health architecture based on a study titled “A Global Public Health Convention for the 21st Century”, which was published last week in the Lancet Public Health journal. While there are many commonalities between the recommendations proposed by the IPPPR and the GPHC Panel, the latter is distinctly focused on ensuring that a new Global Public Health Convention has the ability to require governments to take action, by implementing a set of incentives, disincentives and compliance enhancing mechanisms.

The full text of the GPHC study is available from The Lancet Public Health journal.

The Panel for a Global Public Health Convention (GPHC) 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.

Anicca Liu
Project Manger, Panel for a Global Public Health Convention