77th World Health Assembly Adopts Amendments To International Health Regulations 2005

    Inam Ansari
    June2/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    77th World Health Assembly Adopts Amendments

    New Delhi (The Hawk): In a landmark achievement in the global health security agenda, the 77th World Health Assembly agreed to the package of amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) based on 300 proposals made by member countries after the Covid-19 pandemic. The targeted amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR) aim at improving countries’ ability to prepare for and respond to Public Health Emergencies of International Concern (PHEIC) and Pandemic Emergencies (PE). They include provisions for facilitating equitable access to relevant health products during PHEIC and PE, as well as mobilizing financial resources to support developing countries in building, strengthening, and maintaining the core capacities required under the IHR (2005).
    Shri Apurva Chandra, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare expressed his excitement by stating that “with the revision of the International Health Regulations, an incredible milestone has been reached.” He also said that “this is a further step towards equity and the creation of an umbrella of solidarity that will help protect the world from future pandemic threats. This is a gift to our children and grandchildren.”
    The Working group on International Health Regulations (WGIHR) and Intergovernmental Negotiating Body on Pandemic treaty with country representations began the negotiation process in two separate groups almost two years ago and met a number of times including many resumed sessions on the issue. The processes witnessed a number of close calls with seeming deadlocks over positions taken by the various stakeholders.
    In order to finalize the package of amendments to IHR, a proposal was put forward in the form of a White Paper by Shri Apurva Chandra as Chair of Committee A of the World Health Assembly on 28th May, 2024. It proposed to establish a single drafting group, to be co-chaired by one Bureau member from the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) and the Working Group on Amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005) (WGIHR) respectively, to consider the matters related to some of the most critical agenda items - the proposed amendments to the IHR (2005), followed by consideration of procedural matters on way forward related to INB negotiations on the Pandemic treaty. The said proposal was approved by all member states by consensus.
    The single drafting group thus established, along with WHO secretariat and member State representatives, through sheer hard work and determination completed the work of bringing consensus in the ongoing IHR amendments during the 77th assembly session period. India played a constructive role in the crafting of the Instrument, which seeks to operationalize equity, necessary for an equitable response by developing countries to Public Health Emergencies.
    As a result, on 1st June, 2024 the Resolution to amendment of IHR (2005) was adopted by consensus in the 77th World Health Assembly.a