World News: On Tuesday, more than 20 world leaders pitched in an idea to formulate an International treaty to deal with pandemic emergencies. World leaders like U. K’s PM Boris Johnson, Italy’s Premiere Mario Draghi and Rwandan President Paul Kagame proposed for a “renewed collective agreement” to prepare for global pandemics.
Despite international rules and regulations exist that directs the conduct of member nations during health emergencies, nations like China as we witnessed had little to no concern for abiding by the prescribes regulations. China did not share crucial medical information on the viral strain to WHO when asked.
Since, the WHO or any world governmental body has little to no powers to enforce rules and regulations, member nations escape obliging those with zero consequences. But in order to be enforced, member nations would need to ratify the laws and wit will be up to them to decide on, says WHO legal officer Steve Solomon.
In December, European Council President Charles Michel made the first proposal in the U.N General Assembly for a global treaty on pandemic emergencies. On Tuesday, he joined Tedros Adhanom’s briefing where he said that the global community needs to build up a pandemic defense treaty that will last beyond this pandemic.
But to Gian Luca Burci, a professor at Graduate Institute of International Affairs at Geneva, this new treaty will divert our attention from the existing International Health Regulations. The new treaty will only bring about very superficial and cosmetic changes to the existing one and remain weaker as usual before.
Though some 25 signatories have called for a greater societal commitment and solidarity, the major powers like U.S, Russia and China stayed away from the topic, just to continue handling the pandemic in their style of approach.
Though the new treaty envisions to address issues on vaccine sharing and waiving of vaccine patents, there is no idea as to how to enforce or at least implement and make nations to sign this new treaty. Recently, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom pleaded countries to donate at least 10 million vaccines, so to start vaccination programs globally within the first 100 days of the year.
While 459 million vaccines are administered globally, 10 nations take the majority of the doses and 28% of doses in just one country. The new treaty like the previous ones will lack the power of enforcement and cannot be expected to succeed in controlling future pandemics with full co-operation.