Dear civil society colleagues,

The second Special Session of the World Health Assembly (WHASS2) scheduled for 29 November to 1 December 2021 is a really special one. Besides its opening and closure, there is only one agenda item: “Consideration of the benefits of developing a WHO convention, agreement or other international instrument on pandemic preparedness and response with a view towards the establishment of an intergovernmental process to draft and negotiate such a convention, agreement or other international instrument on pandemic preparedness and response*, taking into account the report of the Working Group on Strengthening WHO Preparedness and Response to Health Emergencies.” (WHO convention or agreement also referred to as ‘Pandemic Treaty’)

And there is only one decision to be taken at this WHA Special Session: to establish an intergovernmental negotiating body to draft and negotiate either “a legally binding instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response under Article 19 of the WHO Constitution” or “a WHO convention, agreement or other international instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response”. The alternative wording is quoted from the draft decision, and what does not seem to be a big difference, is still being fiercely debated.

After receiving a positive response for WHA TODAY in May 2021, at WHA74, the virtual civil society lounge will again be open daily during the WHA Special Session for sharing, discussing, strategizing among civil society organizations – and maybe a bit of gossip, if time allows. The meetings of the WHA Special Session will start daily at 10 AM CET. Therefore, the WHA TODAY civil society lounge will be open from 9-10 AM, starting on Monday 29 November.

Register here to attend one or several sessions of this new series of WHA TODAY:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0kdeuhqzMsHdMbPtqhCDuFo9fOPp_sUB8a
You only need to register once, and you can use the same personal login for all sessions.

Please refer to the draft programme below, and bring along your insights and your positions and demands regarding the WHO pandemic treaty and its negotiation process, together with your cup of tea or coffee. If you want to provide a prepared input (not more than 3 Minutes, please), let us know in advance.

See you there!

Best regards,
Jyotsna Singh and Thomas Schwarz
jyotsna@phmovement.org – schwarz@medicusmundi.org

For the organizing team:
People’s Health Movement PHM
Medicus Mundi International Network MMI
Geneva Global Health Hub G2H2

 

WHA TODAY, 29 NOVEMBER – 2 DECEMBER 2021
DRAFT PROGRAMME

Monday 29 November, 9.00-10.00 CET
Outlook to the WHA Special Session 

  • Organizing team: Introduction to the WHA Special Session and the expected intergovernmental negotiations of a WHO pandemic treaty
  • All participants: Positions and demands regarding the negotiation process/modalities
  • All participants: Positions and demands regarding framing/content of a WHO pandemic treaty

Tuesday 30 November, 9.00-10.00 CET
WHASS2: Reporting and review

  • PHM WHO Watch: Brief overview of the deliberations on 29 November
  • Discussion: New insights regarding member state positions and dynamics, the framing and content of the proposed WHO pandemic treaty and the modalities of its negotiation
  • Brief introduction to the WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12) on TRIPS Waiver starting on 30 November

Wednesday 1 December, 9.00-10.00 CET*
WHASS2: Reporting and review

  • PHM WHO Watch: Brief overview of the deliberations on 30 November
  • Discussion: New insights regarding member state positions and dynamics, the framing and content of the proposed WHO pandemic treaty and the modalities of its negotiation

Thursday 2 December, 9.00-10.00 CET*
After WHASS2: Conclusions and strategizing

  • Organizing team: Outlook to intergovernmental negotiations on the pandemic treaty, and other tracks to follow after the WHA Special Session (IHR review, WTO negotiations, else)
  • Discussion: Civil society follow-up regarding WHO pandemic treaty (process and content)

*The concluding session might take place on Wednesday 1 December already, if the World Health Assembly closes on Tuesday