British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and other top world leaders agreed Tuesday in a joint news article published in various top world newspapers that the international community should work together “towards a new international treaty for pandemic preparedness and response.” Also signing the declaration was World Health Organization (WHO) Chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Chile's President Sebastián Piñera and his Costa Rican colleague Carlos Alvarado Quesada were the only Latin American leaders signing the document which can be construed as a letter of intent.
The heads of government pointed out that “there will be other pandemics and other major health emergencies and no single government or multilateral agency can address this threat alone.”
The commentary has been signed by J. V. Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji; Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand; António Luís Santos da Costa, Prime Minister of Portugal; Mario Draghi, Prime Minister of Italy; Klaus Iohannis, President of Romania; Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda; Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya; Emmanuel Macron, President of France; Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany; Charles Michel, President of the European Council; Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Prime Minister of Greece; Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea; Sebastián Piñera, President of Chile; Carlos Alvarado Quesada, President of Costa Rica; Edi Rama, Prime Minister of Albania; Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa; Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago; Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands; Kais Saied, President of Tunisia; Macky Sall, President of Senegal; Pedro Sánchez, Prime Minister of Spain; Erna Solberg, Prime Miniser of Norway; Aleksandar Vučić, President of Serbia; Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia; Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine; Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization.
“The question is not if, but when. Together, we must be better prepared to predict, prevent, detect, assess and effectively respond to pandemics in a highly coordinated fashion. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a stark and painful reminder that nobody is safe until everyone is safe,” the leaders said as they added covid posed the biggest challenge since World War Two.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph and publications such as Le Monde in France and El Pais in Spain, the 24 leaders argue that a treaty similar to that reached in the wake of World War Two is needed to build cross-border cooperation.
The aims were clear: To bring countries together, to dispel the temptations of isolationism and nationalism, and to address the challenges that could only be achieved together in the spirit of solidarity and co-operation - namely peace, prosperity, health and security as countries must now be better prepared to predict, prevent, detect, assess and effectively respond to pandemics in a highly co-ordinated fashion, the leaders agreed.
A new treaty would help to establish better systems for alerting people about potential pandemics, they said, while also improving the sharing of data and distribution of vaccines and personal protective equipment.
The article added that At a time when Covid-19 has exploited our weaknesses and divisions, we must seize this opportunity and come together as a global community for peaceful co-operation that extends beyond this crisis.
The main goal of a new international treaty for pandemic preparedness and response would be to foster a comprehensive, multi-sectoral approach to strengthen national, regional and global capacities and resilience to future pandemics. This is an opportunity for the world to come together as a global community for peaceful cooperation that extends beyond this crisis.
According to the article, the treaty “would be rooted in the constitution of the World Health Organization, drawing in other relevant organizations key to this endeavour, in support of the principle of health for all. Existing global health instruments, especially the International Health Regulations, would underpin such a treaty, ensuring a firm and tested foundation on which we can build and improve.”