Unfortunately, as the climate crisis progresses and humans continue to infringe on wild animal habitats, the risk of another global pandemic is growing. To address this, the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) has agreed to form an intergovernmental negotiating body to create a legally-binding treaty to prevent the rise of as well as improve countries’ ability to effectively address future pandemics.
The negotiating body is expected to meet by March of 2022 and present its findings and the treaty no later than May of 2024. According to W.H.O. director-general, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the treaty would prevent a repeat of the “fragmented and splintered” steps taken by different countries which weakened the overall global response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dr. Tedros praised the potential treaty as “a once-in-a-generation opportunity to strengthen the global health architecture to protect and promote the well-being of all people.”
Unfortunately, the W.H.O. will likely have a few hurdles to overcome before it can effectively get all 194 member countries on board with such a treaty. Large countries, like the US and Brazil, have voiced support for an international agreement on pandemics, but have called for a weaker and non-legally binding framework. The primary supporters of a legally-binding treaty are the European Union and Britain.