A meeting in Montreux: Friends of the Pandemic Treaty
A photograph of a somewhat crumpled sheet of paper read “Retreat of the Group of Friends of the Pandemic Treaty”, Friday September 17, 2021. The image showed potential guiding questions that would discuss the need for a new legal instrument – discussions for which are underway in the Working Group on strengthening WHO preparedness and response to health emergencies.
Last week when this information was shared with us, the questions on the agenda were revealing on the direction of these discussions.
Early endorsers to the idea of a pandemic treaty are a group of WHO member states who supported the need for a treaty. The Group of Friends of the Treaty (Albania, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Fiji, France, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Republic of Korea, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Senegal, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Ukraine, the United Kingdom).
The Friends of the Treaty, met last week for a retreat in the picturesque lake-side town of Montreux, Switzerland – the home of a famous jazz festival in the summers.
Far from enlivening music, the Friends met to deliberate on the sombre matter on making a case for a new legal instrument to govern future health emergencies.
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