COVID-19 pandemic has shown the flaws in global health governance, regarding pandemic preparedness. Instead of attaining to International Health Regulations (IHR), revised in 2005 at World Health Organization (WHO), every country has instrumented its own rules to control the spread of SARS-CoV2. Nationalistic positions have prevailed, concerning access to medical technologies (such as vaccines, diagnostics or medicines), or quarantines blocking trade and free circulation. The fragmentation in global health governance is very evident. This has been a consequence of the diminished role of WHO, due to its budgetary limits. These constraints have limited the role of WHO to respond in a coordinated way during COVID-19 pandemic.
New pandemics have been forecasted during this century, as a result of changes in the relationship between humans with our environment. Thus, coordination in global health governance is needed. In December 2021, the resolution 74.7 of World Health Assembly (WHA) has ordered the creation of a Commission, which will review international health governance, regarding pandemics preparedness. Through a review of the legal framework, this presentation aims to unfold the possibilities for the new governance -either by amending IHR, creating a new instrument, or a combination of both (for example, the creation of a Framework to respond to subsequent pandemics, such as the one devoted for influenza)-, as well as the topics revisited (i.e. benefit- sharing of pathogens, equitable production and distribution of medical technologies, or the creation of a dispute resolution mechanism). Some themes will be hotly debated between North and South. Additionally, WHO doesn’t hold exclusive jurisdiction in some of the topics, as far as they’re regulated by other international forums.
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