Guest Essay on Governing Health Emergencies: “The Exclusive Force of International Law Cannot be the Answer”

“The IHRs (2005) were adopted on a scientific and political consensus which is still valid today”

Axelle Ebode, a Paris-based Cameroonian expert who has examined the implementation of International Health Regulations from the perspective of geopolitics, writes for us this week. Ebode is wrapping up her PhD at the Institut Français de Géopolitique. With a specialization in health geography, her research analyzes the relationship between health and geopolitics throught the implementation of the IHRs (2005) in Cameroon, Kenya and Mexico.  Here are her thoughts on this timely matter:

As the discussions for a pandemic treaty began on 15 July 2021many voices are calling for a more inclusive discussion on the conceptual and practical issues that are partially addressed or not at all, by the IHRs (2005). Some others believe why not reforming the IHRs (2005) directly instead of going for a treaty? What are the difficulties in reforming the IHRs? Apart from practical difficulties, the factors making IHRs reforms challenging include legal, political ones, in addition to its conceptual architecture.


Axelle Ebode: An expert on IHRs

The IHRs (2005) were adopted as, and still is, a game-changing regulation whose importance and ways of implementation have evolved and are still evolving since its entry into force on 15 June 2007. The contemporaneity of the IHRs (2005) as a standards setting instrument, and the world’s desperation for overnight results without taking bold actions to comply with these international rules is distracting us from the fact that this is a process that requires resources (human, political, financial, infrastructural).

Continues here.

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