JAKARTADAILY.ID - World Health Organization (WHO) Chief Scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan stated on Monday that worldwide negotiations are underway to determine if an international treaty is required to effectively battle future pandemics.
"Some of the discussions that are now happening at the global level are about whether we should have a global pandemic treaty that binds all countries into certain types of behaviour just like we have rules around atomic use of nuclear energy,” Dr. Swaminathan said at the Panex-21 seminar's opening ceremony.
Panex-21 is a multi-nation disaster management exercise organized by the Indian Army with a specific emphasis on relief in the aftermath of the Covid-19 epidemic. BIMSTEC countries such as Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, and India are among those taking part in the event.
The World Health Assembly (WHA) held a Special Session a few weeks ago to draft and negotiate a WHO convention, agreement, or international instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response.
Dr. Swaminathan used the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control as an example, noting that the convention took a long time to establish but that it eventually created tobacco control guidelines, which resulted in a large drop in tobacco usage.
"That is a good example of an international treaty that will be possible for dealing with the future pandemic," she said, as quoted by The Economic Times on Monday (December 20, 2021).
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, stated that the World Health Assembly's decision was historic in character, crucial in its purpose, and offered a once-in-a-generation chance to enhance the global health framework to ensure the safety and well-being of all people.