Public hearings regarding a new international instrument on pandemic preparedness and response

In a consensus decision aimed at protecting the world from future infectious diseases crises, in December 2021 the World Health Assembly agreed to kickstart a global process by establishing an intergovernmental negotiating body (INB) to draft and negotiate a convention, agreement or other international instrument under the Constitution of the World Health Organization to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said the decision by the World Health Assembly was historic in nature, vital in its mission, and represented a once-in-a-generation opportunity to strengthen the global health architecture to protect and promote the well-being of all people.

As part of this historic decision, the World Health Assembly requested the Director-General to hold public hearings, in line with standard WHO practice, to support the work of the INB.

Per the INB’s timeline, the first round of those hearings has been set for 12-13 April 2022, with a second round set for 16-17 June. This information on the modalities for the first round of hearings is also expected to apply to the second round as well.

WHO is seeking input from all interested parties in these hearings, and strongly encourages participation in this important process. 

The guiding question for the hearings is the following: “What substantive elements do you think should be included in a new international instrument on pandemic preparedness and response?”