Opinion: Inching closer to an essential global pandemic treaty

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recently declared monkeypox a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). The world is now simultaneously fighting three global health emergencies that are currently designated as PHEIC’s — Covid-19, monkeypox, and polio — a poignant reminder of the catastrophic threat posed by pathogens.

Just two days earlier, the WHO took a historic first step toward a pandemic treaty to prevent and respond to infectious disease threats. WHO’s Intergovernmental Negotiating Body — a dedicated group of the world’s governments — agreed to negotiate and draft a legally binding pandemic treaty. This is the most transformative global health call to action since WHO itself was formed as the first specialized United Nations agency in 1948.

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