WHO treaty that seeks to improve response to pandemics does not harm countries’ sovereignty – 04/01/2024 – Balance and Health

WHO treaty that seeks to improve response to pandemics does not harm countries’ sovereignty – 04/01/2024 – Balance and Health


Representatives from 194 nations have been discussing treaty mechanisms proposed by the WHO (World Health Organization) for three years to improve responses to pandemic situations. The document brings eleven premises for the drafting of the agreement, admitting, for example, regional inequalities in health systems and reaffirming the sovereignty of countries for biological controls. “The World Health Organization is fundamental to strengthening pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, as it is the directing and coordinating authority for international health work”, says an excerpt from the most recent draft of the treaty, released in March this year.

Contrary to what posts on social media have been claiming, the agreement, still in preparation, does not override decisions taken by governments. In February, the organization’s director general, Tedros Adhanom, publicly spoke out about false information circulating on the internet regarding the negotiations and reiterated that the treaty “does not give the WHO any sovereign power over any country.”

“Our role is to advise,” said Adhanom. At another time, as verified by Comprova, he reaffirmed that the current of “fake news, lies and conspiracy theories” was harming the progress of the treaty. The text is expected to be voted on in May, during the 77th edition of the World Health Assembly, held annually in Geneva, Switzerland.

At the end of 2022, a text, verified by the report, spread a conspiracy theory that the agreement would replace “national and state laws” and give the entity the power to demand mandatory vaccinations, “ending democracy”. At the time, the WHO had already held meetings in the so-called Intergovernmental Negotiating Body, which was created precisely to bring together representatives of member countries and discuss the agreement.

“There is no way to usurp sovereignty, because every international treaty depends on the consent of the States. It depends on the States adhering to this treaty voluntarily. Each State will only do this if it sees fit and then ratify it within its own legal system. legal”, explained doctor in international law and professor at Mackenzie University Helisane Mahlke. The expert also remembers that the WHO is a UN agency and does not act autonomously.

Posts on social media have also ironically mentioned the entity’s intention to combat conspiracy theories in health crisis situations. Article 18 of the treaty provides four rules to avoid misinformation in times of public health emergencies, but does not provide details on how they will be implemented.

Read the full verification on the Comprova website.

Why we investigate

Comprova monitors suspicious content published on social networks and messaging applications about public policies and elections at the federal level and opens investigations into those publications that have greater reach and engagement. You can also suggest checks via WhatsApp +55 11 97045-4984. Suggestions and questions related to questionable content can also be sent to Folha via WhatsApp 11 99486-0293.

The investigation of this content was carried out by BandNews FM and published on March 28 by Comprova, a coalition that brings together 42 vehicles to check viral content. It was verified by Folha, Piauí, Correio, Estado de Minas, SBT and SBT News.


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