Intended for healthcare professionals

Options for a Global Pandemic Treaty

Covid-19 has affected each and every one of us. This is what sets it apart from other recent crises: no region or country has been spared. In less than two years, it has infected more than 240 million people, and we have lost over five million lives to this virus. No one wants to see this happen again, but experts agree that this will likely not be the last pandemic.

We must seize the opportunity to get global preparedness and response in order. A new global agreement on pandemic preparedness and response can protect current and future generations from a global crisis of this kind occurring again. We cannot wait for the next crisis before we act.


The world must act now to be prepared for future health emergencies
A group of health ministers will discuss the benefits of developing a new global agreement on pandemic preparedness and response at the World Health Assembly 2021.

What is the missing ingredient in global pandemic preparedness and response?
There is an emerging global consensus for a political compact to prevent future crises on the scale of the covid-19 pandemic, writes Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Confronting future pandemics: what could a new treaty resolve beyond the IHR?
One critical question in the ongoing discussions for an international instrument to deal with future pandemics is to gain clarity on what the issues are that a treaty under Article 19 of the WHO Constitution could resolve beyond the scope of the IHR 2005, say Haik Nikogosian and Ilona Kickbusch

Creating a new global treaty to minimise future pandemic risks
Health and economic communities must work together to ensure that governments deploy policies and resources to mitigate the risk of future pandemics, writes Alan Donnelly.

Unless we address the inequity in global health, then the world will not be prepared for the next pandemic
There is an urgency for world leaders to take responsibility for the systemic change required to achieve global pandemic preparedness, writes Ayoade Olatunbosun-Alakija.


Triggers for treaty negotiations: could lessons from environmental protection inform a prospective pandemic treaty?
The factors in favour of starting negotiations on a pandemics treaty are similar to those that triggered the successful negotiation of key environmental agreements, Katharina Kummer Peiry reports.

Can geopolitics derail the pandemic treaty?
During the pandemic, the world has experienced how the geopolitics of global health have immediate, ruthless repercussions for the lives and livelihoods of billions, say Ilona Kickbusch and Anna Holzscheiter.

This collection was proposed by the Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute of Geneva, in the frame of a research project on a pandemic treaty co-chaired by Ilona Kickbusch and Haik Nikogosian. The collection was launched on the occasion of the Special Session of the World Health Assembly 29 November - 1 December 2021. Article handling and open access fees are funded by the project. The BMJ edited and made the decisions to publish the articles. Kamran Abbasi and Juliet Dobson are the editors for The BMJ.

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