In a previous report, I featured Dr. Mark Trozzi to discuss an initiative that he refers to as “a backdoor to global governance.” It’s the World Health Organization’s “Pandemic Treaty” that is meant to “kickstart a global process to draft and negotiate a convention, agreement or other international instrument under the Constitution of the World Health Organization to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.”
However, the United Nations Foundation is hard at work on a bigger agenda. They are the self-described “decision-making body of the World Health Organization” and are making proposed amendments to previously established International Health Regulations (IHR).
These proposed amendments are supposed to be discussed at World Health Assembly, an event that takes place annually, happening from May 22-28 in Geneva, Switzerland. It takes place at the same time that the World Economic Forum hosts its Davos gathering a few hours drive away.
The IHR are an “instrument of international law that is legally-binding on 196 countries, including the 194 WHO Member States,” which includes Canada.
The concern is that amendments could have devastating, legally binding consequences for the health sovereignty of all Canadians.
This depends on whatever the flavour of the day is globally at the mercy of the United Nations and the World Health Organization and their definitions and response plans to everything from climate change to pandemics.
I reached out to Global Affairs Canada asking which representatives from Canada would be present at this event, if Canada would be putting forward amendments and if so, where could Canadians learn more about these amendments?
No one responded to my media inquiry, so we filed an access to information request (ATIP) to obtain all Government communications around any proposed amendments to the international health regulations.
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Since filing that ATIP, Canada has issued a press release noting that the Minister of Health, Jean-Yves Duclos, will be present to “deliver Canada’s plenary statement highlighting continued commitment to international and multilateral engagement to protect the health and safety of Canadians… He will also speak to the importance of health equity and the need for prevention and health promotion initiatives more broadly.”
I emailed this media contact requesting the same information regarding Canada’s role in proposed amendments.
Anne Genier responded:
The set of proposed amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005) that are posted in document A75/18 and published on the WHO website, are proposed amendments that have been put forward by the United States of America for consideration.
Canada will not be agreeing or adopting the full set of proposed amendments as set out in the document tabled by the U.S. Rather, Member States will deliberate on a forward process to consider possible amendments to the IHR (2005). As part of this process all Member States will have an opportunity to put forward their own recommendations for IHR amendments for consideration. It is expected that this process to receive, consider, discuss and agree on possible amendments to the IHR could take up to two years, and is unlikely to begin in earnest until this fall. The proposals put forward by the United States are the first of what are expected to be a number of proposals for IHR amendments that will be coming forward from other Member States as well, and considered as part of this forward process.