After several African nations, Iran, Malaysia, and Brazil objected, the World Health Organization (WHO) last week withdrew 12 of the 13 amendments that were submitted by the Biden administration to the current the International Health Regulations (IHR) at the World Health Assembly’s (WHA) annual meeting.
On January 18, Loyce Pace, the Biden Administration’s delegate to the WHO, quietly submitted the 13 amendments to the IHR to give the global organization increased control over health surveillance, reporting, and management worldwide.
Delegates from 194 nations, who convened at the the Palais des Nations in Geneva on May 22-28, were unable to reach a consensus to pass 12 of the amendments.
On May 27, delegates did agree to amend Article 59, changing the amount of time member states have to reject amendments from 18 to six months.
The rejected amendments included one that would have empowered the WHO to declare a “public health emergency” in a member state even over the objection of that member state. An amendment to article 9 would have allowed the WHO to rely on a source for information leading to a declaration of a public health emergency while “maintain[ing] the confidentiality of the source,” such as a pharmaceutical company, WHO funders such as the Gates Foundation.
The African delegation to the WHA expressed reservations about the IHR amendments, and said the reforms should not be rushed, according to Reuters.
“The African region shares the view that the process should not be fast tracked … ” Moses Keetile, deputy permanent secretary in Botswana’s health ministry, told the assembly on behalf of the Africa region.
“We find that they are going too quickly and these sorts of reforms can’t be rushed through,” said another concerned African delegate in Geneva.
One diplomat following the discussions told reporters: “They don’t agree but it’s not a disaster. It’s a multilateral process so you can’t force things through.”
After the 12 amendments were rejected, Mat Staver, the founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, stated that “it is a positive sign that 12 of the 13 amendments have been withdrawn,” but warned that the rejected amendments can return at any time.
The WHO’s power grab could reportedly resurface again in future meetings, including a hearing scheduled for June 16-17, 2022.
A separate “Pandemic Treaty” will be considered by the WHO on August 1, 2022.
“We know the WHO will hold more meetings on these amendments and on a new ‘Pandemic Treaty’ that will vest considerable global power in this agency of the United Nations,” Staver said, adding “America’s sovereignty is not for sale.”
Senator Ron Johnson introduced legislation last week that would push back against the WHO’s overreach and ensure that the Senate has power over any pandemic treaty.
The legislation is titled the No WHO Pandemic Preparedness Treaty Without Senate Approval Act, and has 15 cosponsors.
The bill mentions the WHO creating an intergovernmental negotiating body (INB) and, if passed, would require any agreement produced by the INB to be submitted to the Senate as a treaty in an effort to provide more transparency on the administration.
The lawmakers believe they need to start fighting to prevent the WHO from creating an INB.
“The World Health Organization, along with our federal health agencies, failed miserably in its response to COVID-19. Its failure should not be rewarded with a new international treaty that would increase its power at the expense of American sovereignty. What the WHO does need is greater accountability and transparency,” Johnson told the Daily Caller prior to introducing the legislation.
“This bill makes clear to the Biden administration that any new WHO pandemic agreement must be deemed a treaty and submitted to the Senate for ratification. The sovereignty of the United States is not negotiable,” Johnson added.