• Global Legal Innovation Advisory

Review of the World Health Assembly Draft Resolution A73/CONF./1 Rev.1 on COVID19 Investigation

Abhivardhan,

President,

Global Law Assembly.


A draft resolution has been proposed by the European Union, the African Group and its Member States, some of the Permanent Members of the UN Security Council except People's Republic of China and the United States of America, certain relevant G20 nation-states such as India, Brazil and Japan along with a group of member-states in the 73rd Session of the World Health Assembly. This is certainly a reasonable step for the International Community via the mandate of the World Health Assembly to initiate some trigger response under International Law to support an independent investigation with regards the outage and source of COVID19.


Beyond the mandate of investigation conferred for the World Health Organization considering the decisions made by the Director-General of the WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus since the COVID19 outbreak, the Resolution underlines certain important actions with special targets attached. The Executive Board of the Global Law Assembly endorses the mandate of the resolution, especially some of the important directions and actions that the resolution could emanate if the World Health Assembly really passes the Draft Resolution as it seems:

PP3: Underlining the primary responsibility of governments to adopt and implement responses to the COVID-19 pandemic that are specific to their national context as well as for mobilizing the necessary resources to do so;

We believe that a strong global health infrastructure can only be based on reasonable sovereign imperatives. Therefore, nation-states must strive at their heart to mobilize their indigenous infrastructures and strengthen them affirmatively to implement better chained and autonomous responses to establish a more resilient global health infrastructure. National Context responses are often good because they can assist us in understanding the vulnerabilities of a global health order at the level of diplomatic and administrative subsidiarity.


PP5: Recalling the Constitution of WHO, which defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, and declares that the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being, without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition;

In order to detoxify and stabilize the physical, mental and social well-being of the international community as a global village, which we would affirm as a communitarian manner, states must avoid technocratic means but implement empathetic means to promote physical, social and mental health as a region-centric and proactive issue among its residents. Cooperative activities can be done, but the collective attitude of the people across the world must be harmonized and detoxified.


PP7: Recalling the United Nations General Assembly resolutions A/RES/74/270 on “Global solidarity to fight the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)” and A/RES/74/274 on “International cooperation to ensure global access to medicines, vaccines and medical equipment to face COVID-19”;
PP8: Noting resolution EB146.R10 entitled “Strengthening Preparedness for Health Emergencies: implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005)” and reiterating the obligation for all Parties to fully implement and comply with the IHR;

Despite the vulnerabilities faced by nation-states to ensure access of medicines, vaccines and medical equipment to face COVID19, we would look upon the World Health Assembly if it can propose newer and reasonable models to strengthen preparedness in a health emergency in lines with the International Health Regulations of 2005. The UNGA Resolutions are yet a notable means to combat the current global emergency, but these means can only succeed when clarity becomes the new consensus for diplomats and administrators. The efforts should exceed its symbolic expectations.

PP10: Recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affects the poor and the most vulnerable people, with repercussions on health and development gains, in particular in low- and middle-income and developing countries, thus hampering the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Universal Health Coverage (UHC) including through the strengthening of Primary Health Care, and reiterating the importance of continued and concerted efforts, and the provision of development assistance, and further recognizing with deep concern the impact of high debt levels on countries’ ability to withstand the impact of the COVID-19 shock;

We appreciate that the Draft Resolution recognizes the issue of income inequality among developing countries and reckons that income inequality would be adversely widened due to the COVID19 outbreak. This is therefore way reasonable to point out that the Sustainable Development Goals and Universal Health Coverage would be hampered by the global health emergency. A more comprehensive mandate to revisit and understand the scope of the issue would certainly be helpful for the global community.

OP7.2: Implement national action plans by putting in place, according to their specific contexts, comprehensive, proportionate, time-bound, age- and disability-sensitive and gender-responsive measures across government sectors against COVID-19, ensuring respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and paying particular attention to the needs of people in vulnerable situations, promoting social cohesion, taking necessary measures to ensure social protection, protection from financial hardship and preventing insecurity, violence, discrimination, stigmatization and marginalization;

This clause itself is a good symbolic response to promote social cohesion and social distancing. We would look upon the sponsoring states as to how they can promote reasonable means to tackle issues such as insecurity, violence, discrimination, stigmatization and marginalization.

OP7.13: Optimize prudent use of antimicrobials in the treatment of COVID-19 and secondary infections in order to prevent the development of antimicrobial resistance;

This clause is well-appreciated as a strong move by the sponsoring countries to endorse reasonable measures to recognize that antimicrobials must be reasonably utilized and antimicrobial resistance is prevented. The question should be, however, as to how that is possible and what more reasonabilities can be appropriately reached out to.

OP7.14: Strengthen actions to involve women’s participation in all stages of decision-making processes, and mainstream a gender perspective in the COVID-19 response and recovery;

Certainly, women participation would be essential and positive to mainstream a gender perspective in the COVID19 response and recovery. We only expect that the gender perspective must be clear and indigenous-centric, which means it must endorse people with a coalescence of both individual and communitarian methods.

OP7.15: Provide sustainable funding to WHO to ensure that it can fully respond to public health needs in the global response to COVID-19, leaving no one behind;

This clause is appreciated. Nevertheless, we would look upon the member-states that they balance funding imperatives and contribute to better proportions. Nevertheless, planning must override the issue of budgetary constraints anyways despite issues.


The Executive Board of the Global Law Assembly welcomes the noble step by the member-states of the World Health Organization to propose a good draft resolution amidst the COVID19 health emergency.

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