Climate Looms Over A New Pandemic Accord, Could Risk Crowding Out Access to Medicines & Equity Issues, Experts Say

That a new pandemic accord will be a closely contested policy space is already obvious.

A first, new working draft published on July 13, 2022, gives a nod to equity, and pushes for accountability. But it also refers to the impact of climate change, among many other policy matters. Some caution, that bringing the complex and expansive issues of climate change into the negotiations towards a pandemic accord might crowd out space and time for discussions on more pertinent matters directly relevant to global health, including the barriers caused by intellectual property for the access to medical products during health emergencies.

The second meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body set up to establish a Pandemic Accord, convenes 18-22 July, where countries will gather to discuss among other matters, the legal route such a new accord might take. At this point, many diplomats expect this to have a combination of approaches including binding and non-binding terms. There is no consensus yet on this matter. But it is something WHO member states are mandated to decide on, before August 1, 2022.

Apart from discussing the working draft and the potential legal route that will underpin the new instrument, next week, WHO member states will also review proposals on the kinds of entities to be included the process on the engagement with relevant stakeholders. (Annex E: Proposed modalities of engagement for relevant stakeholders).

This story considers some of the key elements of the working draft and includes some preliminary responses from countries and other experts on priorities described in the draft.

Photo by Jonathan Cooper: Pexels

Continues here.

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