News and Opinions  –  2021

The WHA74 Special Session on Pandemic Preparedness and Response – an opportunity to address antibiotic resistance

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On 29 November - 1 December, the 74th World Health Assembly (WHA74) gathers for a special session to consider developing a new WHO convention, agreement, or other international instrument on pandemic preparedness and response. Given many similarities in actions required a "pandemic treaty" may be a clear opportunity to ensure that antibiotic resistance - the silent ongoing pandemic - is also addressed.

The Working Group on Strengthening WHO Preparedness and Response to Health Emergencies has issued a draft report that recommends moving forward with the initiation negotiations of a new legal instrument while also moving forward with a process to strengthening the international Health Regulations.

Ahead of the WHA Special Session, ReAct Europe has developed a briefing note outlining key considerations that are imperative for making negotiations of a new legal instrument productive for all actors involved.

The briefing also outlines a number of areas where actions to strengthen pandemic preparedness and response, have clear overlap with effectively addressing antibiotic resistance. The briefing therefore makes a strong case for including antibiotic resistance in the scope of a new legal instrument to leverage such potential synergies fully.

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