Safeguards,  prevention and financial justice
– a must for the pandemic treaty

Resumed session of INB5, 12 June 2023
G2H2 statement under agenda item 2

Thank you, chair.

The INB Bureau’s new text proposal clearly reflects the delicate weaving work for bringing Member States together on many diverging elements of the negotiation. 

However, clear safeguards in the treaty concerning the highly problematic role of the corporate sector, as persistently requested by the Geneva Global Health Hub, remain ignored. The WHO Tobacco Convention is the model to follow, yet we see incomprehensible resistance to setting ground rules to protect the governance of the new instrument from commercial influence. Future negotiations must address this.

We regret reading a weakened draft in other fields like human rights or access and benefit sharing, as well as insufficient involvement of Civil Society in pandemic prevention, preparedness and response. Soft language ushers confusion and  disincentivizes ratification and implementation. Governments need binding clarity, especially because another binding instrument already exists, the IHR. 

The Bureau text pays lip service to the notion of pandemic prevention. Pandemic prevention starts with addressing the key drivers of spillovers, a systemic understanding of One Health that  tackles the current industrial models destroying ecosystems. Prevention starts with sustained universal public health systems, people centered care,  social protection and fiscal justice, as expressed in numerous WHO declarations. The Bureau text’s persistence on biomedical solutions,  surveillance, data sharing and vaccination as the main way of prevention  must be reoriented to a more comprehensive approach. 

Finally, financing is a key component of pandemic PPR. We welcome the extension of the Article 19 on financing, namely the proposed option A for paragraph 6. We must remind ourselves  that the world is awash in money and governments are never in  financial scarcity dilemmas when having to find  resources to wage wars and buy weapons. Pandemic PPR requires the same level of prioritization and commitment. We also insist that debt cancellation and an intentional stop to illicit financial flows must complement article 19. Indebted countries need to regain their financial sovereignty, away from the multiple colonial dependencies from rich countries, the very same ones that have accumulated a gigantic ecological debt towards the global South.  

Thank you.

Download the background document and statement: PDF

G2H2 statement read by Indre Karciauskaite, member of the G2H2 INB working group