top of page

BLOG

Please note that any information presented here is point-in-time so please turn to other sources for up-to-date information.  

  • Kimberley Peek

#PandemicAccord: Update from Stakeholder Briefing


25 April 2024

 

Yesterday, the Co-chairs of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (#INB) for a Pandemic Agreement held a stakeholder update. They apologized for abruptly ending last week’s meeting and explained the challenges of reaching balance and a “consensus-ready” negotiating text with “5000 brackets.” 


The Co-chairs empathized with stakeholders having to sit in the cafeteria waiting to speak to delegates and pointed to stakeholders’ important role in bringing much-needed technical support to Member States. The Co-chairs also noted they are trying to persuade the World Health Organization (WHO) Secretariat to organize daily briefings and/or summary documents. 


In terms of next week’s meeting and what to expect, it’s still TBD on whether or not stakeholders can make interventions at the opening session or what other opportunities there will be for stakeholder engagement with Member States. 


Stakeholders expressed frustration around lack access to delegates, lack transparency on discussions, and that proposed language was lost in the ether (e.g. not clear if any one was reviewing official submission).  More than a few people on the call said text was “so weak” that it was “close to meaningless” -particularly language on equity and accountability. And that the current draft was considerably weakened from earlier ones. 


In response to comments about the new draft text, Co-chairs pointed to a new approach called “constructive ambiguity.” They encouraged stakeholders to interact with and advise Member States, and propose improvements to the text while pushing states to move forward. 


The Co-chairs also explained the Accord will take definitions from the Working Group on Amendments to the International Health Regulations (rather than reinvent) where appropriate and as agreed this week. They also explained that the proposal for working groups on Pathogen Access and Benefits Sharing (PABS), One Health, and Financing reflects the fact that Member States could not agree on substance in these areas, and no agreement was foreseen prior to the May World Health Assembly.


Stakeholder requests to the Co-Chairs included webcasting plenaries (as is done in the World Intellectual Property Organization – WIPO); publishing feedback in a structured format (article by article); and adhering to World Health Assembly's 2019 transparency norms. They also encouraged the Bureau to publish a document explaining the rationale for the formulation of the current text (nb: seems this exists, but is not public). 


The wrap-up?  There is no concrete news yet on how stakeholders will be able to engage in the final #INB round of negotiations, which begins on Monday. 

11 views

Comments


bottom of page