Constituency statement for Knowledge Ecology International, Health Action International, Oxfam, and Public Services International: Strengthening WHO preparedness for and response to health emergencies

On 24 May 2022, I delivered the following constituency statement on behalf of Knowledge Ecology International, Health Action International, Oxfam, and Public Services International on the following topic: “16.2 – Strengthening WHO preparedness for and response to health emergencies” at the 75th session of the World Health Assembly.

A pandemic treaty can offer a comprehensive and more effective response going forward for future pandemics. INB negotiators should address the regrettable leadership and policy failures that have accompanied the current pandemic response, and create better frameworks for cooperation.

Governments should agree to:

  1. Establish global norms to support end-to-end financing of preparatory and crisis R&D.
  2. Attach obligations to share rights and know-how from government-funded. technologies.
  3. Use exceptions to exclusive rights in intellectual property in order to decentralize and scale manufacturing.
  4. Fund independent clinical trials to provide transparent, unbiased and comparable safety and efficacy evaluations of countermeasures.
  5. Create appropriate and efficient regulatory pathways for the competitive supply of vaccines, drugs and other technologies during emergencies, and
  6. Concrete obligations to transparency in every aspect including but not limited to R&D and procurement agreements, licenses, clinical trial designs, outcomes and costs, products prices, and those referred to in WHA72.8
  7. .

Concerning the WGPR, we welcome its foundational work to ensure that equity is at the heart of health emergency responses. We look forward to participating in the newly established Working Group on IHR amendments. The tables proposing actions by stakeholders should refer to health emergencies, not only pandemics. Going forward, this process should safeguard the physical and mental health of health workers in emergencies.

We commend those governments that have supported the development and consolidation of C-TAP. More tangible steps are needed to fulfill its potential to contribute to equitable access.

With respect to the clinical trials resolution, we urge member states to undertake the following actions.

  1. Ensure that the scope is applicable to all medical technology trials, and not only to vaccines, and not only for pandemics;
  2. Include comprehensive transparency requirements, such as protocol sharing, timely publication of data and public disclosure of R&D costs, including clinical trials, particularly when publicly funded;
  3. Ensure that all results are reported in an accessible way; and

  4. Take into consideration the need for diversity of populations enrolled in clinical trials

  5. Invest in clinical trial platform infrastructures in low and middle income countries.