WHO’s pandemic preparedness agenda - a world divided
The public hearings you may have missed
With the advent of the third anniversary of the Covid lockdowns and the amendments to the WHO’s International Health Regulations currently being proposed, it is timely to reflect on the WHO public hearings held last year.
In 2022 we witnessed how the global pandemic preparedness complex doubled down on efforts to lobby the governments of sovereign nations to relinquish their decision-making process over future so-called pandemics to WHO. In late September 2022, WHO’s intergovernmental negotiating body (INB) met to discuss its New International Instrument on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response. Earlier that month they had announced a second round of public hearings. Interested parties had been invited to submit a video statement in response to the following question:
“Based on your experience with the COVID-19 pandemic, what do you believe should be addressed at the international level to better protect against future pandemics?”
PANDA submitted a video in which it clarified its stance on the future of pandemic preparedness by highlighting failings and concerns relating to the Covid-19 event. Points made included that:
The clear lack of impact on reducing Covid-19 harm through the public health response only compounds the wrongfulness of these actions.
The resulting increase in inequality and mass poverty (predicted by WHO in their own 2019 pandemic guidelines), undermines public health.
Pandemic preparedness should be proportionate and guided by populations, not corporations.
WHO needs to return to a focus on population health rather than promotion of corporate profit.
The results of the hearing were published quietly on the WHO website a few weeks later. Not only was the public hearing phase not promoted, but the results were even harder to find. Nonetheless, PANDA was curious to find out the types of responses WHO had received. We discovered that, of the 420 videos submitted, a very large number of submissions were critical of how the Covid-19 event had been handled.
Of the 370 English videos, 60% voiced disdain at the handling of the 2020 pandemic and requested WHO to abandon its plans to create further centralised pandemic responses. The majority of critical voices belonged to individuals who put their points across with conviction and empathy, sharing their Covid-19 experiences, and warning of future impoverishment and erosion of individual freedoms, national sovereignty and broader societal health. We were also interested to discover about 20 small independent organisations that had courageously voiced their opinions despite obvious pressures to self-censor, risking their networks, clients and access to future public and foundation-based funding.
On the other hand, we noticed that those in support of greater and more centralised responses were typically associated with organisations aligned with the UN and WHO. Their presentations ‘toed the party line’.
This review exercise was very telling and so we chose a few of the videos to share with you.
It is not clear if WHO’s INB committee listened to the many voices asking for the role of WHO to be limited. We fear that this is unlikely, despite the disastrous fall-out from the Covid-19 response becoming more obvious every day, as the recent changes to the International Health Regulations being prepared by WHO indicate only a more authoritarian and human rights-abusive approach.
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, WHO has deliberately contradicted their own evidence-based pandemic guidelines published in 2019. They are now seeking to compound the harms and human rights abuses of the past almost three years by enshrining the disastrous measures introduced during Covid-19 in international law. This undermines human rights, basic democratic norms, and public health, ignoring WHO's own definition of health that includes psychological and societal well-being in addition to physical health. This move will, however, be highly effective in continuing the process of wealth concentration that has enabled certain private sponsors of WHO to make remarkable financial gains during the Covid-19 period.
To find out more, see PANDA’s ongoing work on refuting the dubious claims of the ethics and equity of the Pandemic Preparedness Response Agenda.
Please consider donating to pandata.org for our ongoing work to bring greater insight on the rapidly-expanding pandemic preparedness agenda through which corporate authoritarians appear to be mounting an ongoing battle against human sovereignty.