EXCLUSIVE: Read Latest Pandemic Agreement Draft Ahead of Monday’s Negotiations
INB co-chairs Roland Driece and Precious Matsoso

Health Policy Watch has obtained portions of the latest draft of the pandemic agreement that member states will negotiate over at the eighth intergovernmental negotiating body (INB) starting on Monday, 19 February.

At the time of publishing, only member states had access to the draft, although a number of civil society organisations recognised as  stakeholders have requested a draft from the World Health Organization (WHO) Bureau that is overseeing the negotiations for some time.

The tranches of the agreement are grouped according to how they have been negotiated, so are not always sequential.

INB8_Chapter I_

This section deals with terminology, aims and guiding principles. For instance, it defines a pandemic as “the global spread of a pathogen or variant that infects human populations with limited or no immunity through sustained and high transmissibility from person to person, overwhelming health systems with severe morbidity and high mortality and causing social and economic disruptions, all of which requires effective national and global collaboration and coordination for its control”.

INB8 Chapter II 4, 5 and 6

The theme of Chapter 2 is “achieving equity in, for and through pandemic prevention, preparedness and response”.

Article 4 addresses countries’ responsibilities in terms of “pandemic prevention and public health surveillance”, with countries committing to “progressively strengthen” these.

Article 5 sets out a One Health approach, while Article 6 addresses health system preparedness/ readiness, resilience and recovery – but once again dwell on countries’ responsibilities.

INB8_Chapter II_7-8-16-17-18

Article 7 deals with the health and care workforce, and Article 8 with “preparedness monitoring and functional reviews”.

Article 16 addresses international collaboration and cooperation, Article 17 is titled “Whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches at the national level”, and deals with countries’ responsibilities to ensure pandemic readiness.

Article 18 addresses communication and public awareness, including countries’ obligations to counter “false, misleading, misinformation or disinformation”.

INB8_Chapter II_9

Article 9 deals with research and development (R&D), and includes that countries shall develop policies that “promote equitable access to pandemic-related products in government-funded R&D agreements and in licensing of government-owned technology for such products; and publish relevant terms of government-funded R&D agreements for pandemic-related products”, including prices, licencing and “terms promoting equitable and timely access to such products during a pandemic emergency”.

INB8 Chapter II, 10 11 and 13

This section deals with contested issues.

Article 10.1 addresses “Sustainable and geographically diversified production”,  and includes that member states shall “endeavour” to facilitate the transfer of relevant technology, know-how and licenses pooled

Article 11 is devoted to transfer of technology, but commits member states simply to “collaborate towards” “promoting and otherwise facilitating or incentivizing the transfer of technology and know-how for pandemic-related products on voluntary and mutually-agreed terms”. These include “licensing and collaboration with regional or global technology transfer partnerships and initiatives” (hubs was crossed out), particularly for technologies that have resulted from public funding

Article 13 addresses the establishment of a “global supply chain network” developed and operated by WHO in partnership countries and other stakeholders. This will identify needs during pandemics, aimed at avoiding “competition for resources among international procuring entities, including regional organizations and/or mechanisms”.

INB8_Chapter II_19-20_clean  

Article 19 addresses implementation capacities and support. Article 20 deals with financing, and proposes the establishment of a “Coordinating Financial Mechanism” to support the implementation of the  pandemic agreement, including “cooperating parties, in particular in developing country Parties”, as well as the agreement’s secretariat. The money will come from state and non-state actors.

It will consist of “a pooled fund to provide targeted, supplementary financing to support strengthen and expand capacities for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, and as necessary for day zero surge response” in countries who do not have access to resources from existing financing entities.

INB8_Chapter III

This deals with institutional arrangements, dispute settlement, and final provisions. It establishes a governing body to review the implementation of the agreement, which will be run by a secretariat. It makes no provision for independent oversight of the pandemic agreement.

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