WHO failure: Member states unable to reach agreement on pandemic management

A treaty would mean that countries grant greater authority to the organization to deal with future health crises.

The member countries of the World Health Organization (WHO) rejected the establishment of a global agreement to prevent and manage future pandemics. This deal would result in states ceding their autonomy to resolve hypothetical health crises to the agency dependent on the United Nations.

As soon as the news was announced, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus assured that "since everything possible was done, there is no need to regret." Furthermore, he considered that "this is not a failure" that the initiative promoted by himself did not come to fruition, reiterating that "the world still needs a pandemic treaty."

This refusal is a serious blow to the WHO before the World Health Assembly (WHA) is held next week in Geneva, Switzerland. However, according to information reported by Health Policy Watch, the countries will negotiate different points in parallel before they meet at the event.

"Where there is a will there is a way, so I am still positive, despite the outcome.  There may be hiccups, but I don’t call it failure. You have really progressed a lot and done a lot," said Ghebreyesus, hopeful that consensus will be reached. The director of the WHO ended his statements by speaking about the consequences of the last pandemic that the world experienced, COVID-19, suggesting that giving more authority to the organization may be key so that future global health crises do not have such negative effects:

I don’t know if there was any anyone who has not been affected by COVID. Not only losing loved ones, but economic problems, loss of jobs, you name it. This impact was because the world was unprepared, and by the way, it still is.