Nations largely failed to work together in solidarity to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, which was marked by national hoarding of commodities, hijacking of shipments of personal protective equipment, power politics, chaotic travel restrictions, export bans on critical ingredients for vaccines, and dramatically inequitable access to life-saving vaccines.
In an effort to do better next time, nations have agreed to negotiate an international agreement on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, to find areas where they can agree to align and cooperate with each other within a legally binding instrument, convention or treaty. Negotiations on this agreement were launched by the World Health Organization on 1 March 2022, with a target for adoption by May 2024.
For this event, a panel of experts discuss the prospects for a meaningful outcome of the pandemic treaty negotiations:
What are the prospects for a meaningful pandemic treaty at this tense moment in geopolitics and what would that look like?
What can be learned from other treaty negotiations to inform a successful outcome?
What belongs in such a treaty, what doesn’t and which areas are likely to be the most contentious?
How likely is it that any agreement reached will be legally binding?
Is a treaty the best way to garner political commitment to preparing for the next pandemic?
This event forms part of Chatham House’s work on reinvigorating multilateralism.
As with all Chatham House member events, questions from members drive the conversation.