PI's comments on Bureau’s text of the WHO’s Pandemic Treaty (WHO CA+)
PI published its comments on the Bureau’s text of the WHO’s Pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response accord (“WHO CA+”) which will be discussed by the WHO Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) from 12-16 June 2023.
- We welcome the inclusion of a provision on confidentiality and privacy.
- The removal of some important provisions provided for in zero draft, including a separate provions on human rights, is problematic.
- There are still significant gaps in the text which need to be addressed including the effective regulation of the private-sector entities.
Privacy International (PI) notes the Bureau’s text of the WHO convention, agreement or other international instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response (“WHO CA+”).
PI has sought to closely follow and engage with the discussions leading up to the draft treaty, despite the significant limitations to civil society participation in the process. In February 2023, we intervened during the briefing organised by the INB bureau and published our comments on the zero draft of the WHO CA+.
PI reiterates its welcoming of the inclusion of a provision on confidentiality and privacy in Article 29. The inclusion of such provision reflects the importance that data protection and privacy plays in any effective, modern public health policies, including supporting the building of trust which is so fundamental in cooperation among states in this field.
However, the Bureau’s draft removes some important provisions contained in the zero draft (notably Article 14 on human rights) and fails to require effective regulation of the private-sector entities, including ensuring that safeguards (such as transparency, adequate procurement process, accountability, oversight and redress) are in place to mitigate the risks of human rights harm.
Our comments related to specific provisions of draft Bureau’s text of WHO CA+ and build upon observations previously made by PI.