WHO Member States agree to develop zero draft of legally binding pandemic accord in early 2023

Dec. 8, 2022
WHO update. 

Member States of the World Health Organization agreed to develop the first draft of a legally binding agreement designed to protect the world from future pandemics. This “zero draft” of the pandemic accord, rooted in the WHO Constitution, will be discussed by Member States in February 2023. 

The agreement by the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB), comprised of WHO’s 194 Member States, was a milestone in the global process to learn from the COVID-19 pandemic and prevent a repeat of the devastating impacts it has had on individuals and communities worldwide. The INB gathered at WHO headquarters in Geneva from December 5-7 for its third meeting since its establishment in December 2021, following a special session of the World Health Assembly. 

The Body agreed that the INB’s Bureau will develop the zero draft of the pandemic accord in order to start negotiations at the fourth INB meeting, scheduled to start on 27 February 2023. This draft will be based on the conceptual zero draft and the discussions during this week’s INB meeting.  

The WHO pandemic accord is being considered with a view to its adoption under Article 19 of the WHO Constitution, without prejudice to also considering, as work progresses, the suitability of Article 21. 

WHO release