On 22 March 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a detailed timeline in relation to meetings of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) to draft and negotiate a WHO convention, agreement or other international instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response. The period between April 2022 to May 2024 is critical; on 12 April 2022 and 13 April 2022, the WHO will open the floor for public comment on the pandemic treaty process.
Per the INB’s timeline, the first round of those hearings has been set for 12-13 April 2022, with a second round set for 16-17 June. This information on the modalities for the first round of hearings is also expected to apply to the second round as well.
WHO is seeking input from all interested parties in these hearings, and strongly encourages participation in this important process.
The guiding question for the hearings is the following: “What substantive elements do you think should be included in a new international instrument on pandemic preparedness and response?”
The hearings will take place through two components- a spoken component (through videoconference technology) and a written component (through a dedicated web portal).
The public hearings take place from (all times CEST) 8-11 AM and 2-5 PM on 12 April 2022 and from 9 AM -12 PM and 3-6 PM on 13 April 2022. To register to speak, please see: https://inb.who.int/
The time limit for the spoken component is 2 minutes (or 220 words). The spoken component is open to interested stakeholders (see below). The deadline to register for the spoken component is 12:00 CEST on Monday, 11 April 2022.
“Interested stakeholders” in this context includes non-State actors with a demonstrable interest in pandemic preparedness and responses, such as: international organizations; civil society organizations; private sector organizations; philanthropic organizations; scientific, medical and public policy institutions; academic institutions; and other such entities that have relevant knowledge, experience and/or expertise related to pandemic preparedness and response to share.
While all content and contributions will be moderated by the WHO Secretariat in line with the applicable terms and standard WHO practice, no input received should be interpreted as reflecting the view or position of WHO, and participation in the public hearings process is not to be considered an ‘engagement’ with any actor under WHO’s rules, procedures, and practices.
Please note that during the spoken component of the public hearings, the “chat”, “Q and A”, and “raise hand” features will be disabled, and speakers will be given the floor to speak by the WHO Secretariat moderator.
The public hearings also have a written component. The written component is open to the general public, as well as interested stakeholders. The dedicated web portal can be found here: https://inb.who.int/home/written-submissions
Written contributions to the first round of public hearings should respond to the guiding question, which is:
“What substantive elements do you think should be included in a new international instrument on pandemic preparedness and response?”
Please further note that all submissions of written comments are subject to the terms of participation. In that regard, please note that:
Written contributions are limited to 250 words.
While written contributions may be provided in any language, contributions in the official WHO languages are preferred. Translation will not be provided by WHO, and contributions will (subject to these terms, including potential redactions or revisions) be presented in the language in which they were provided. Please further note that WHO will machine translate any contributions received into English for internal administrative purposes, including to ensure consistency with the terms of participation. Written contributions must address the guiding question and observe appropriate decorum. Written contributions which stray from these requirements will not be accepted. These and further terms may be found below and on related links.
Please note that written submissions must be submitted by 17:00 CEST on Wednesday 13 April 2022.
Here are notable milestones in the WHO pandemic treaty process.