The politics of a WHO pandemic
treaty in a disenchanted world

The report (PDF): Politics of a WHO Pandemic Treaty
Conference version published on 24 November 2021
A fully edited version of the report will be available in mid-December 2021

The report

After almost two years of battling an unprecedented health emergency, the world continues to be confronted with new waves of the COVID-19 pandemic and the global South finds itself in the grip of a new form of systemic inequality enshrined in the patently flawed vaccine distribution strategy. At an upcoming Special Session of the World Health Assembly, the World Health Organization and its member states are undertaking an effort to agree on negotiating a new international legal instrument for pandemic preparedness and response.

But does the world need a new “pandemic treaty”? Is it the right thing, at the right time? The Geneva Global Health Hub (G2H2) has unpacked these pertinent questions through research undertaken involving a broad range of experts including those who have concretely tackled the COVID-19 response in their countries. G2H2 has mapped the complexity of this treaty proposal and its potential implications for the future scenario of global health governance. 

The resulting report launched by G2H2 on 24 November addresses the need for new approaches to the challenge of a pandemic future. In the wake of the harsh but real lessons that COVID-19 continues to administer, it focuses on some of the pathogenetic political and economic structures that must be recognized if the international community is serious about restoring democratic multilateralism and giving the world and the people a proper chance to better deal with future health emergencies and crises.

The authors

  • Remco van de Pas, Institute for Tropical Medicine Antwerp
    research team member and co-author of the report
  • Priti Patnaik, Founding editor Geneva Health Files, Geneva
    research team member and co-author of the report
  • Nicoletta Dentico, Society for International Development, G2H2 co-president
    coordinator of the G2H2 research and advocacy project, and co-author of the report

G2H2 media release, 30 November 2021

“Civil society report raises concerns about proposed Pandemic Treaty”
PDF file: G2H2_Press Release 30 Nov_FINAL 1-1
Word file: G2H2_Press Release 30 Nov_FINAL 1

Contacts for enquiries

Launch of the report

The G2H2 report was launched on 24 November in Geneva and via Zoom.
Find the programme and documentation of the event here.

The G2H2 research and advocacy project on the WHO pandemic treaty that includes the publication of this report was sponsored by the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung (RLS) with funds of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of the Federal Republic of Germany. This report or parts of it can be used by others for free as long as they provide a proper reference to the original publication. The content of the publication is the sole responsibility of the Geneva Global Health Hub and does not necessarily reflect the position of RLS.