The World Together: Strengthening Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response
The 7th meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) began on November 6, 2023, at the WHO headquarters. This critical meeting aims to draft an international agreement for pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response, spanning from November 6 to 10, and then resuming from December 4 to 6. During this meeting, the Bureau of the INB has shared the “Proposal for negotiating text of the WHO Pandemic Agreement”.
In December 2021, recognizing the need for global collaboration in pandemic preparedness, WHO’s Member States established the INB. The INB’s mission is to draft an international instrument for pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response. Other than Member States, relevant Stakeholders like the WVA are also heard.
The Path Forward
The INB has adhered to the timeline defined in document A/INB/3/4 to present its final outcome at the 77th World Health Assembly in May 2024. WHO Member States create binding agreements and accords to enhance global health. These agreements reflect a collective commitment to address health needs and socioeconomic conditions.
WVA’s Role and Interventions
The World Veterinary Association (WVA) plays a crucial role in advocating for the interconnectivity of human, animal and environmental health. Dr Rafael Laguens, WVA’s President, emphasized their mission to promote not only animal health but also and public health. He praised the INB’s focus on pandemic prevention, public health surveillance, and the “One Health” approach.
Dr Laguens stressed that One Health is not an additional burden but the most effective way to combat pandemics, benefiting all countries. He highlighted that humans make up only 34% of the mammal biomass on Earth and that a science-based approach is needed to address future pandemics. The WVA is committed to collaborating in the final stages of drafting this agreement and supporting its implementation.
Professor Susanna Sternberg, a member of the WVA One Health Working Group, emphasized the importance of early detection and a One Health approach to disease outbreaks. She highlighted that One Health prevention is cost-effective and encourages resource-sharing.
Stay tuned for updates on the INB’s progress and WVA and A4AH contributions.