Solidarity in the Wake of COVID-19: Reimagining the International Health Regulations
The Lancet, 396(10244), 82-83
Posted: 25 Feb 2021
Date Written: June 19, 2020
Amid frenzied national responses to COVID-19, the world could soon reach a critical juncture to revisit and strengthen the International Health Regulations (IHR), the multilateral instrument that governs how 196 states and WHO collectively address the global spread of disease. In many countries, IHR obligations that are vital to an effective pandemic response remain unfulfilled, and the instrument has been largely sidelined in the COVID-19 pandemic, the largest global health crisis in a century. It is time to reimagine the IHR as an instrument that will compel global solidarity and national action against the threat of emerging and re-emerging pathogens. We call on state parties to reform the IHR to improve supervision, international assistance, dispute resolution, and overall textual clarity.
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