The March 7, 2024 WHO/INB draft negotiating text for a pandemic agreement.

The REVISED Draft of the negotiating text of the WHO Pandemic Agreement, March 7, 2024


A few quick word counts:

  1. mutually agreed 1
  2. incentivize, 4 times
  3. Voluntary, 5 times
  4. take measures, 8 times
  5. Transparent or transparency, 8
  6. cooperate 9
  7. encourage 12 times
  8. facilitate 24 times
  9. promote, 29 times
  10. shall 164 times

This text looks like the WHO member states are getting close to an agreement. The scope of the agreement is broad and in many areas, the actual impact will depend upon the implementation. Like everyone else, there areas KEI would like to see improved. We would like to see better measures on transparency, obligations to use exceptions when necessary to achieve the objectives the agreement, a different approach to the pooling of rights in technology that includes in addition to other measures an opt-in pooling mechanism where rights are only shared with members of the pool (to provide concrete incentives to pool rights), among other topics. We will share more detailed comments by Tuesday.

The contrast between this negotiation and the WTO negotiation on TRIPS and COVID 19 is enormous. This has been a far more open, inclusive and transparent process than the WTO negotiation, the negotiations are forward looking, and there has been more flexible engagement from higher income countries than we saw in the WTO, even among the same governments.