Leaders of 23 countries and the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday backed an idea to create an international treaty that would help the world deal with future health emergencies like the coronavirus pandemic now destroying the globe, according to Reuters.
The treaty got the formal backing of the leaders of Fiji, Portugal, Romania, Britain, Rwanda, Kenya, France, Germany, Greece, Korea, Chile, Costa Rica, Albania, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, the Netherlands, Tunisia, Senegal, Spain, Norway, Serbia, Indonesia, Ukraine and the WHO.
“There will be other pandemics and other major health emergencies. No single government or multilateral agency can address this threat alone,” said the leaders in a joint opinion article in major newspapers.
“We believe that nations should work together towards a new international treaty for pandemic preparedness and response,” they said.
The main goal of such a treaty would be to strengthen the world’s resilience to future pandemics through better alert systems, data sharing, research and the production and distribution of vaccines, medicines, diagnostics and personal protective equipment, they said.
The treaty would also state that the health of humans, animals and the planet are all connected and should lead to shared responsibility, transparency and cooperation globally.
“We are convinced that it is our responsibility, as leaders of nations and international institutions, to ensure that the world learns the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the leaders wrote.
The idea for a global treaty was floated by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, at a G20 summit in November.