by Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D., Childrens Health Defense:
Over the objections of 11 nations, the United Nations General Assembly president today approved a declaration on pandemic prevention that seeks to create a global pandemic authority. Critics said the declaration supports COVID-19-style restrictions, including “closing schools and disproportionately throwing women out of work and into poverty.”
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The United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly (UNGA) president today approved the non-binding U.N declaration on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response (PPPR), without a full assembly vote and over the objections of 11 nations.
Critics called the declaration, which seeks to create a global pandemic authority with the power to enforce lockdowns, universal vaccination and censorship of “misinformation,” “hypocrisy” and “unhinged.”
The approval came as part of a high-level meeting on PPPR. But what does the declaration mean in practice?
For proponents, the declaration is a key step toward global coordination in pandemic prevention and public health.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it “presents an opportunity … to prevent and prepare for pandemics and their consequences, using an approach that involves all government sectors.”
The WHO also said the PPPR aims to “apply lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic” and “comes as the world faces multiple humanitarian and climate-related crises which are threatening lives and livelihoods around the world.”
In a statement, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “If COVID-19 taught us nothing else, it’s that when health is at risk, everything is at risk.” He linked the PPPR to the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), saying world leaders should “show they have learned the painful lessons of the pandemic.”
Attorney Lawrence Gostin, head of Georgetown University’s WHO Collaborating Center — a key figure “playing a key behind-the-scenes role in negotiations” for the proposed “pandemic treaty” and amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) — said the high-level meeting “is our best chance to gain support and deep engagement of heads of state and government.”
Other experts took a different view. Author and podcaster Frank Gaffney, founder and president of the Center for Security Policy, told The Defender it is “very worrying” that the U.N. and WHO “will further encourage, if not actually authorize, the kind of standing capability or authority on their part to essentially dictate what constitutes emergencies.”
“There’s no getting around the fact that it’s going to come at the expense of the sovereignty of the various nations that will subsequently be told that they have an emergency and told what they have to do about it,” he added. “This is unprecedented.”
Gostin said “Negotiators are at a loss” as to how to balance accountability and sovereignty when implementing instruments like the PPPR, IHR or “pandemic treaty.”
Writing for the Brownstone Institute, Dr. David Bell, a public health physician, biotech consultant and former director of Global Health Technologies at Intellectual Ventures Global Good Fund, said “the main aim” of the PPPR “is to back” the “pandemic treaty” and IHR amendments currently under negotiation by WHO member states.
Bell said a “silence procedure” is in place, “meaning that States not responding will be deemed supporters of the text.” He said the text is “clearly contradictory, sometimes fallacious, and often quite meaningless,” and intended to centralize the WHO’s power.
Bell told The Defender, “The declaration was not written with serious intent, but is essentially empty rhetoric promoting a continued centralization of control that the U.N. and WHO are openly seeking, at the expense of democracy, human rights and equality.”