Health Affairs  |  August 17, 2022

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The Intergovernmental Negotiating Body of the World Health Organization (WHO) just concluded a one-week “honeymoon” consultation with member states during July 2022. The objective of this consultative period was to further draft and negotiate a future legal instrument to guide the coordination of countries in preventing, preparing for, and responding to pandemics and other global health emergencies. One largely anticipated announcement was what format the treaty would take: the deliberations ranged from using the WHO Constitution’s Article 21 (regulation), Article 23 (Health Assembly recommendations), Article 19 (convention) or if it would focus on developing amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR). The outcome of the week was a consensus that the treaty will be pursued under Article 19 of the WHO Constitution—WHO’s treaty-making authority.

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