The World Health Organization’s special session was held from 29 November to 1 December 2021. The WHO Member States adopted by consensus a decision to launch negotiations on a new legal instrument to prevent and respond to future pandemics. The decision was co-sponsored by the European Union Member States and by [90 States] from all the world’s regions.
The COVID-19 crisis has shown that the international health security system must be strengthened ahead of crises, by improving preparedness, but also during crises, through a more robust warning and international cooperation system.
To achieve these goals, France is in favour of adopting a new treaty in addition to the International Health Regulations. Among other things, this treaty will make it possible to strengthen the WHO’s role and international and inter-agency health cooperation, improve fair access to tools for combating epidemics, such as vaccines, treatments, diagnostic tests and protective measures, and promote the One Health approach, which takes into account interactions between human, animal and environmental health in the context of the erosion of biodiversity.
France welcomes the launch of negotiations relating to this treaty under the aegis of WHO, in order to strengthen the existing multilateral health architecture. It will take an active part in the negotiations, supporting the principles of fairness, inclusivity, solidarity and transparency.
In addition to a treaty on pandemics, France is in favour of the International Health Regulations being revised and would like more effective political and financial mobilization by the international community to prepare for and respond to pandemics.
Finally, since the start of the crisis it has been very involved in promoting fair access to tests, vaccines and treatments, which are global public goods, through, among other things, more than €1 billion of support for the ACT-A initiative and the donation of 120 million doses by the middle of 2022, including 60 million doses by the end of this year.