WHO's pandemic treaty will not overpower any country’s domestic policies

By: Ankita Kulkarni
April 25 2023

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WHO's pandemic treaty will not overpower any country’s domestic policies


The Verdict False

The treaty only aims to amend International Health Regulations (IHR) to protect countries from future pandemics.

Claim ID c22c4944


A video posted on Facebook claims that a new treaty will give the World Health Organization (WHO) superpowers, enabling it to impose international lockdowns, control farming, water-energy supply, and other domestic policies.

In 2021, the WHO agreed to develop a global accord on pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response. A newly established Intergovernmental Negotiating Body published a "Zero Draft" report to amend International Health Regulations (IHR), which issued guidelines on public responses to infectious diseases.

A WHO press release on March 23, 2023, noted that negotiations on the draft have begun and can produce the final draft by May 2024. A government petition filed in the U.K. with 156,086 signatures has asked the government to refrain from signing the treaty "unless it is approved via public referendum." British MP Andrew Bridgen also made similar claims in Parliament as it debated the petition on April 17, 2023. 

However, the posts have exaggerated the proposal, linking it to conspiracy theories. 

In Fact

The 32-page document of the Zero Draft, publicly available online, lays out a vision to build greater equity and effectiveness in “pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response” around the globe for international cooperation. It aims to ensure sharing of genomic data of pathogens, universal access to research, vaccine technology, and investments in national health. It also encourages countries to enable equitable distribution of vaccines and testing kits. 

The proposal aims to amend IHR, including compulsory quarantines for infected travelers and guidelines to preserve personal and economic liberty. The IHR has been amended several times in history following the outbreaks of infectious diseases, such as SARS. Since early 2021, world leaders have been working on further amendments as the COVID-19 pandemic exposed new weaknesses in the existing regulations. 

However, it does not overrule any nation's ability to pass their respective pandemic-related policies. The document does not mention overpowering any nation's domestic policies, nor will it cede power to WHO. 

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus clarified at a press conference that "the claim that the accord will cede power to WHO is quite simply false. It's fake news." He emphasized that "countries themselves will decide the wording and scope of any global agreement on how to tackle the next pandemic. No country will cede any sovereignty to WHO." 

Responding to the government petition, the U.K. House of Commons also published a detailed note clarifying that the accord will help “strengthen the resilience and responsiveness of health systems.”

Conspiracy theories around WHO and the IHR are being shared in the context of the Great Reset conspiracy theory, which falsely claims that organizations like the WHO and World Economic Forum (WEF) are planning to arrest and enslave the population and drag people into a kind of totalitarian dystopia. Logically Facts has previously debunked several conspiratorial claims around the Great Reset. 

The Verdict

The WHO pandemic treaty is designed to protect the world from future pandemics. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has confirmed that the global accord will not allow WHO to overpower any national rights. It will neither direct nor control any country's domestic policies. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false.

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