SouthNews No. 443, 28 February 2023

Opening Statement of the South Centre

to the WHO INB4

February 27, 2023

The South Centre, the international organization and think tank of 55 developing countries, appreciates the opportunity to provide a statement.

We applaud the effort done so far, yet consider that the current Zero Draft is not ambitious enough.

The Zero Draft text should be read against the purported objectives of the international instrument.

Does it provide the means to comprehensively and effectively address systemic gaps and challenges that exist in strengthening the world’s capacities to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from pandemics?

Does it cement the needed foundations for ensuring timely international cooperation, coordination and solidarity among States?

Does it help provide the necessary global public goods?

Does it remove obstacles, including those based on intellectual property rights, to allow for an equitable access to vaccines and other needed products and technologies?

Does it bolster countries’ capabilities and International Health Regulations (IHR)’s core capacities and provide appropriate means of implementation for developing countries?

Does it strengthen the coordination role of the World Health Organization (WHO)? Will it, for example, regulate use of advance purchasing agreements and prevent individual country surplus stockpiling of vaccines in times of limited global supply?

The current Zero Draft will not allow to give unambiguous affirmative responses to these questions.

The fundamental objective of the pandemic instrument should be to provide a multilateral system coordinated by WHO for enabling adequate, prompt, and effective capacities for pandemic prevention, preparedness, response and recovery and their operationalization, including commitments to share know-how and technology, increased technical assistance and secured financing, in accordance with the principles of equity, solidarity, common but differentiated responsibilities, international cooperation and complementarity with IHR 2005.

We look forward to contributing to the collective process of building an effective pandemic international instrument.

SouthNews is an e-newsletter service of the South Centre providing information and news on topical issues from a South perspective.

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For more information, please contact Anna Bernardo of the South Centre: Email

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