Finally, pandemic treaty negotiations lead to text-based talks

INB co-chairman Precious Matsozo (right) practices some jokes after two weeks of negotiations as co-chairman Roland Trice looks on.

Text-based negotiations on a pandemic agreement will finally begin at the next meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) on March 18, with a draft negotiating text to be circulated to member states of the World Health Organization (WHO) by this Friday. March.

After an intense two weeks of the INB's eighth round of negotiations, which ended on Friday (1 March), member states are expressing their confidence in the co-chairs and their representatives, marshalling the informal talks so crucial to the process.

The INB has held 385 hours of formal meetings and 80 hours of informal meetings in the past two years and member states must ensure that this time is not wasted, Co-Chair Precious Matsoso told INB members at the end of the body's eighth meeting. Last week.

South Africa's Matsoso injected her characteristic good humor into the dry negotiations, reminding member states that „we are family” and closing the meeting with a quote from singer Sister Sledge.

However, like most families, INB has a lot to contend with before agreeing to any meaningful agreement.

Conditions of Share

Pakistan represents the Equity Group in the Pandemic Agreement negotiations.

Pakistan, on behalf of the Group for Equity, defined the most important areas for its mostly developing country members at the closing session of INB8. These are also issues of disagreement.

Essentially, they want the Patient Access and Benefit Sharing (PABS) system to „guarantee equitable benefit sharing on a level playing field, banning anonymity to ensure transparency and accountability”.

PABS is one of the biggest sticking points in negotiations reported earlier By Health Policy Monitoring.

They want the agreement to include „normative” technology transfer provisions in which countries have the right to „request and solicit” technology transfer and licensing.

READ  Remarks by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the opening ceremony of the 20th China-ASEAN Expo - World

Country obligations, particularly in relation to surveillance and prevention, should be „tailored to their respective capacities and contexts”, build capacity in fragile states and comply with the principle of „Common but Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR)”.

CBDR is commonly used in environmental law and states' obligations depend on their socio-economic status and historical contribution to environmental problems.

The equity group wants a „predictable and sustainable funding mechanism” for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response that is part of the UN. Future health emergencies.

Finally, the group called for treaty governance to be „designed to increase participation and ensure accountability to parties” and to have a legally binding agreement that is „applicable and enforceable to all parties without any impediments.”

The Group for Equity includes 29 countries, Fiji, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Namibia, Pakistan, Palestine, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines,. South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand and Uruguay.

Ethiopia represents the African Group's position during the Pandemic Agreement negotiations.

Ethiopia, on behalf of 47 African member states and Egypt, wants a „multilateral pathogen access and benefit-sharing system with clear data governance and accountability for pathogen sharing” and a „dedicated financing mechanism with inclusive governance”.

Best wishes for further progress

The European Union, on behalf of its 27 member states, urged negotiators to look at the parts of the agreement rather than the differences, which are „not insignificant” and „give us a solid foundation for continued good work. A decision already by May.”

However, Germany „wanted to make some progress” in „finding integration” during INB8.

„The time for integration is very short. The text presented next week will be important for all of us. It should facilitate a meaningful effect on the entire PPR cycle,” Germany said.

READ  Hong Kong President John Lee to miss APEC meeting in San Francisco due to 'scheduling issues'

„We must continue our discussions on an effective system for Pathogen Access and Benefit Sharing (PABS). PABS must be implemented. It must not impede research and access, and ensure credible benefit sharing with the necessary broad participation of the private sector.”

European Union in INB 8

Stakeholders: Inside or Outside?

A contentious issue is how little civil society organizations (CSO), academia, the private sector and other stakeholders should express their views during negotiations.

The Pandemic Action Network (PAN) organized two civil society sessions at the last INB meeting with the participation of about 100 organizations, many of which demanded better access to negotiations.

Last week, STOPAIDS, PAN and many other groups Wrote a letter to INB Bureau Asks for „the official involvement of CSOs in all remaining negotiations in the INB process for a new pandemic agreement.”

„We demand the same rights as those granted to civil society, including those allowed during the negotiations on the UNFCCC, for example. [UN Framework Convention on Climate Change]and the Convention on Biological Diversity,” they say.

„Access to CSOs will be important for reasons of transparency and legitimacy, but also because CSOs provide technical expertise and social testimony through briefings to negotiators during official sessions. A wide range of civil society contributions during INB 8 have been welcomed by member states, but these have mainly been done in events on the sidelines of the negotiations. We are part of the process. Being is important.”

Matsoso said the INB Bureau, in consultation with the WHO Secretariat, is proposing two options to include stakeholders at the next meeting, but member states have agreed that stakeholders will not be in the room during the negotiations. However, there may be a briefing session for member states about regular reports or stakeholders drafting, he added.

READ  Indonesian Church Prepares to Welcome Pope Francis

„It is crucial to strengthen our engagement with civil society, stakeholders and experts from all relevant sectors,” Germany stressed. We look forward to their structured and meaningful engagement during INB 9.

Fight the infodemic in health information and support health policy reporting from the Global South. A growing network of journalists in Africa, Asia, Geneva and New York connecting the dots between regional realities and larger global debates through evidence-based, open-access reporting and analysis. To make an individual or corporate contribution, click here on PayPal.

Dodaj komentarz

Twój adres e-mail nie zostanie opublikowany. Wymagane pola są oznaczone *