INB7, 6-10 November 2023
G2H2 statement under agenda item 2

Respected INB members and delegations,

The world is suffering yet another scorching war. It’s faced again with the international community’s illogical failure to address geopolitical crises, incurring enormous costs.

WHO Member States now risk falling into the same perilous paradox. As members of the Geneva Global Health Hub, a coalition of about 50 civil society organizations committed to democratic global public health governance, we are preoccupied for the latest draft of the pandemic agreement. We wonder if these negotiations’ intention is – indeed – to prepare the world to better protect everyone everywhere from future pandemics. Or if it’s instead to enable private monopolies – the pharmaceutical, food and tech industries mostly concentrated in the global North – to profit from a new round of publicly funded research and immunity policies, using human life as a ransom.

Vaccine imperialism has already caused numerous preventable deaths and prolonged COVID.  That’s why the pandemic instrument must be immunized from industry influence. Legally safeguarding the negotiation from vested interests of exploitative nature is indispensable, indeed urgent.

Safeguarding the process would beneficially allow expanding the scope of prevention well beyond its current interpretation restricted to biosecurity assets, technological surveillance, data sharing obligations.

Prevention encompasses systemic interventions on key drivers of outbreaks, including transforming food systems, establishing sustained public investments for universal public health systems and wellbeing for all, while granting decent working conditions for health workforce. Solid accountability mechanisms, like an independent monitoring body, must be created to this end.

Time is running out. If we truly mean to act in public interest before the next crisis strikes, the only way forward is to protect this accord from private interests and ensure it works for people today, and for the future generations.

Thank you.

Statement read by Dian Maria Blandina, People’s Health Movement, member of the G2H2 Steering Committee
Statement as PDF file: G2H2 statement INB 7 – 6 November 2023