MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In response to the latest draft of the WHO Pandemic Agreement released by the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body, the AHF Global Public Health Institute and the University of Miami Public Health Policy Lab applaud the recent reports issued by the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB), Spark Street Advisors and United Nations University International Institute for Global Health, which call for an independent monitoring mechanism to enhance global accountability for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.
At this time, the draft text of the agreement does not contain independent monitoring provisions and other effective compliance-enhancing mechanisms. According to Dr. José Szapocznik, Director of the University of Miami Public Health Policy Lab, “If we are going to prevent pandemics, we need a different global governance architecture that has the independence and authority to ensure accountability to a pandemic agreement, including independent monitoring and verification.”
As stated by Nina Schwalbe, principal at Spark Street Advisors, "[Treaties are] just a piece of paper unless there's monitoring and accountability associated with it." The pandemic agreement that is currently being negotiated by WHO member-states requires a robust accountability framework with independent monitoring to achieve its objectives. This idea was echoed in the GPMB report, which has supported the integration of monitoring into the pandemic agreement governance structure that will eventually be established.
The latest Agreement draft mentions accountability in only two places. First, accountability is mentioned as a general principle. Second, the proposed Article 8 includes a global peer review mechanism to evaluate pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response (PPPR) capacities and gaps “with the aim to promote and support learning among Parties, best practices, actions and accountability.” However, this mechanism will not be established until December 2026 and alone, is not fit for the purpose of ensuring accountability and compliance. To “complement self-assessment and peer-review, GPMB has called for “strong multisectoral independent monitoring” across all national, regional and global domains.
In a paper published in the Lancet Public Health, authors from AHF, University of Miami, the Global Pandemic Policy Group and the Panel for a Global Public Health Convention have called for accountability in the form of information transparency and an independent oversight body to assess and monitor compliance. Furthermore, Dr. Jorge Saavedra, Executive Director of the AHF Global Public Health Institute, noted that “incentives and disincentives tied with country compliance with agreed-upon regulations are necessary.” Research on past international agreements shows that the only agreements that deliver are those with built-in enforcement.
With regard to the sparse engagement with accountability in the pandemic agreement negotiations, Dr. Saavedra has said that “this is unacceptable.”
“It looks like the world did not learn enough from the global disaster caused by the last pandemic and the willingness to commit to strong accountability and compliance for a safer and healthier world is vanishing. Do we need another pandemic to remind member states that we cannot continue with just another declaration full of general principles common in the pre-Covid19 pandemic era?” concluded Dr. Saavedra.
About AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF)
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is a global non-profit organization providing cutting-edge medicine and advocacy to over 1.9 million people in 45 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Europe. We are currently the largest non-profit provider of HIV/AIDS medical care in the world. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare and Instagram: @aidshealthcare