US health secretary: ‘There’s consensus to reject the status quo in pandemic preparedness and response’
Geneva Solutions » Global Health
by Stéphane Bussard
3w ago
The United States’ top health official, Xavier Becerra, was in Geneva for the World Health Assembly, confident that the pandemic agreement could soon be adopted. But Washington stands firm on its red lines, including waiving vaccine patents. In July 2020, the Trump administration notified the World Health Organization (WHO) of its official withdrawal, contesting its “China-centric” attitude at the start of the Covid-19 crisis. Four years on,  the Biden administration has a different approach. US secretary of health and human services Xavier Becerra was in Geneva for the World Health Asse ..read more
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States push to finalise global health rules while parking pandemic treaty talks
Geneva Solutions » Global Health
by Michelle Langrand
3w ago
As countries resign to postpone gridlocked pandemic treaty talks, some believe a consolation prize can come this week in the form of revised international health regulations. While the world may have to wait a little longer to see a pandemic treaty, some states believe they may still be able to score a major win this week as they push to finalise amendments to existing International Health Regulations (IHR). The lesser-known negotiations, which were launched in parallel to treaty talks two years ago, are closer to the finish line. “Let us focus on the IHR… because this is providing much bette ..read more
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Countries clash over next steps for pandemic treaty talks
Geneva Solutions » Global Health
by Michelle Langrand
3w ago
Countries are mulling over what to do next after failing to meet a deadline to produce an agreement to prepare for future health crises in two years. African states would like to see a deal this year, while others argue for a longer extension. African states called on Tuesday to limit extended negotiations for a pandemic agreement to the end of 2024. Others, including the United States, Australia and Mexico said more time was needed, suggesting one to two additional years would be a more realistic timeline to address persisting divergences. Health ministers have descended this week on Geneva ..read more
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The worrying failure of pandemic treaty negotiations
Geneva Solutions » Global Health
by Stéphane Bussard
3w ago
A pandemic accord was meant to be the highlight of the 77th World Health Assembly which opened on Monday in Geneva. But a last-ditch attempt by the WHO’s 194 member states to prevent the world from reliving the trauma of Covid-19 failed to yield an agreement. It should have been the pinnacle of a two-year negotiation process that had begun following the trauma caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead, the 77th World Health Assembly (WHA) opened this Monday in Geneva with a failure. The 194 member states of the World Health Organization were unable to agree on the final version of a pandemic a ..read more
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Pandemic treaty talks enter final stretch amid deep divides
Geneva Solutions » Global Health
by Michelle Langrand
1M ago
Negotiators have two weeks to finalise an agreement on how to prevent, prepare and respond to global health crises ahead of the World Health Assembly end of May. Before the pandemic had even ended, countries were already launching negotiations on how to avert or at least contain the next one. Many applauded this as multilateralism at its best, with nations coming together in the face of adversity and acting without delay. Scientists warned that Covid-19 was only a taste of what would come next as climate change, deforestation, wildlife trafficking and other factors heightened the risk of new ..read more
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Why investing in public health is a win-win strategy that can protect Nestlé’s profits
Geneva Solutions » Global Health
by Svet Lustig, Holly Gabriel, Thomas Abrams
2M ago
Nestlé’s shareholders have a golden opportunity to call on the food giant to promote healthier lives in almost two hundred countries by backing a bold resolution at the multinational’s annual general meeting this week. Doing so can protect their profits in the long term, the campaign leads at UK charity ShareAction write. A coalition of investors with $1.68 trillion in assets under management is calling on the world’s largest food and drinks company to increase its sales from healthier products. The shareholder resolution, which will be voted on at Nestlé’s annual meeting in Lausanne on Thurs ..read more
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UNFPA chief: We see ‘orchestrated efforts’ to reverse gains in sexual and reproductive rights
Geneva Solutions » Global Health
by Michelle Langrand
2M ago
Major strides in sexual and reproductive rights over the last three decades have failed to serve women from marginalised groups amid mounting attacks against some of those historic gains such as the liberalisation of abortion laws, according to Natalia Kanem, head of the UN Population Fund. In 1994, states gathered in Cairo and made a commitment to prevent women from dying during childbirth. Thirty years since the International Conference on Population and Development, maternal death rates have significantly dropped while unintended pregnancies have fallen by almost 20 per cent. But not every ..read more
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Jayati Ghosh: Pandemic accord negotiations will go nowhere because of powerful multinationals
Geneva Solutions » Global Health
by Stéphane Bussard
2M ago
The renowned Indian economist was a guest at the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights (FIFDH) in Geneva. She believes that multinational corporations have too much influence on negotiations led by the World Health Organization (WHO) for an accord on pandemic preparedness. She also paints a very critical picture of her country. She teaches economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and has long been a professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. Indian economist Jayati Ghosh specialises in development, globalisation and finance. In 2022, she was appointed b ..read more
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WTO gives up on waiving IP rights for Covid drugs and tests
Geneva Solutions » Global Health
by Paula Dupraz-Dobias
4M ago
Four years after Covid-19 was declared a public health emergency of international concern, disagreements among countries at the World Trade Organization appear to have cancelled any chance of consensus on waiving intellectual property rights for medications and tests. After years of deliberations, countries have articulated irreconcilable splits  over whether to extend a waiver to IP rights for Covid-19 vaccines to include therapeutics and diagnostics. This was made clear in draft reports published Tuesday, a day ahead of the World Trade Organizations’s (WTO) global trade body’s General ..read more
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WHO gears up to replenish coffers amid tough outlook for health funding
Geneva Solutions » Global Health
by Kasmira Jefford
5M ago
After a milestone move two years ago to overhaul its finances, the World Health Organization (WHO) is gearing up for the next phase, with plans to raise $7.1 billion later this year against a difficult backdrop for global health funding and the uncertainty created by the US elections. The global health body’s executive board will meet this week to decide whether to greenlight plans to hold its first-ever investment round in the fourth quarter of the year as it seeks to replenish its coffers with more flexible and predictable sources of funding. The Geneva meeting, held every January, sets the ..read more
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