Global leaders call for an international treaty to combat future pandemic

EYEAFRICA TV: Geneva, SWITZERLAND:- Global leaders have joined the World Health Organization (WHO) in fronting a global health treaty that would obligate all countries to unite in the fight against any future pandemics, alienating nationalistic tendencies that prompt nations to seek singular responses to the crises.

In a joint letter published on Tuesday, leaders called for a similar response to the post-World War II era, when countries came together to form the United Nations in order to dispel the temptations of isolationism and nationalism, and to address challenges together in the spirit of solidarity and cooperation.

The effort is motivated by the COVID-19 pandemic which has ravaged all corners of the world for more than one year.

More than 20 global leaders and officials from across Europe, Africa, South Africa and Asia, including Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Tunisia’s President, Kais Saied, Senegalese President Macky Sall, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel all signed the document.

However, the United States and China and Russia were not on the list.

According to the latest data from the Johns Hopkins University, the total number of infections globally have surpassed the 127.66 million mark with a death toll exceeding 2.79 million.

WHO has been vocal on the need to unite globally to defeat the virus. From synchronizing national strategies to sharing critical scientific data, the agency’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom has repeatedly called upon all nations to dovetail their responses to global strategies.

“We believe that nations should work together towards a new international treaty for pandemic preparedness and response,” the group of leaders said in the published op-ed.

“The main goal of this treaty would be to foster an all-of-government and all-of-society approach, strengthening national, regional and global capacities and resilience to future pandemics. This includes greatly enhancing international cooperation to improve, for example, alert systems, data-sharing, research, and local, regional and global production and distribution of medical and public health counter measures, such as vaccines, medicines, diagnostics and personal protective equipment.”

The group has pledged to work with other Heads of State and governments globally and other stakeholders, including civil society and the private sector.

The group noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has “exploited our weaknesses and divisions” and that the proposed treaty would protect future generations from similar tragedies.

“Pandemic preparedness needs global leadership for a global health system fit for this millennium. To make this commitment a reality, we must be guided by solidarity, fairness, transparency, inclusiveness and equity,” they said.

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