Our Stand: The Full Story
Do you want an international board to make health decisions for you and your family?
World Health Organization nations are negotiating an Agreement right now that would legally bind countries to act according to international consensus when a health emergency strikes.
Stand for Health Freedom is opposed to any policies that require US citizens to do something in the context of health simply because a supranational agency claims they must. We have seen the devastation that follows this type of decision-making when federal level policy is forced on states and local communities. The agreement proposed by the WHO would remove local control beyond the federal government and instead to a global level.
Health Freedom Advocates are for cooperation, but not for loss of sovereignty. The WHO is an international agency that should work for us, not the other way around, so we can strengthen our local and federal responses and resiliency in times of health emergencies.
Sovereignty is not only the cornerstone of individual human rights and civil liberties but also international law. Countries “decide which actions or measures take place within their territory—not other nation-states and certainly not third-party organizations such as the WHO.”
One recent BMJ article described the system the WHO is forming as a “new global public health world order.”
We do not yet know exactly what the WHO has in store for this agreement, but we can make educated guesses based on current agreements, policies, and internal analysis.
In short, the agreement will:
- deeply compromise or otherwise destroy privacy at a global level;
- funnel US tax dollars to a global agency that will use it to “enhance, update, and strengthen” its own ability to be a global health authority;
- create an international structure for sharing dangerous pathogens and genetic information;
- censor (or “cancel”) more and more voices for informed consent through “global coordinated actions to address the misinformation, disinformation, and stigmatization that undermine public health.”
The World Health Organization is an agency of the United Nations and was formed in 1948. The US played a major role in funding and creating of this global health giant.
Once a year, 194 Member States (nations and territories) send delegates to the World Health Assembly, where major decisions that can impact all the world’s citizens are made about the activities and mission of the WHO.
Only one other time in history has the entire organization assembled for a special session. The first was in 2006 to address the death of the WHO Director. The second was November 2021 to consult about global coronavirus response.
At the second special session, the World Health Assembly adopted a resolution to create an intergovernmental negotiating body (INB) “to draft and negotiate a WHO convention, agreement, or other international instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response.” The agreement is expected to be ready by May 2024 for presentation to the 77th World Health Assembly.
As directed, the INB met February 24, 2022 to elect chairs and agree on methods and timelines to meet the 2024 deadline. The European Council (that directs the policy and politics of the European Union’s 27 Member States) agreed to start negotiations on March 3, 2022.
The Constitution of the WHO gives it authority to adopt regulations that are “designed to prevent the international spread of disease.” These regulations will become enforceable and legally binding against all Member States unless the member state opts out affirmatively within a certain amount of time.
What Will Be in the Agreement?
Another development at the second special session was a report from the Member States Working Group on Strengthening WHO Preparedness and Response to Health Emergencies. The group outlined benefits of creating an international WHO agreement on pandemic preparedness and response.
In summary, WHO wants an international agreement for:
- “Equity” in health responses, including vaccines. There is international upset that response to the COVID-19 pandemic was not addressed the same way across the globe. It’s argued that wealthier countries were able to protect themselves better, and first, leaving countries with less wealth without resources.
- Expanding the WHO’s “One Health” approach. One Health purports to be a global initiative to achieve good health outcomes for all people, animals, and the environment by addressing food safety, antibiotic resistance, the transmission of diseases from animals to humans, and influenza programs.It involves sharing health data and information across many industries and across the globe.
- Money. The agreement will be “[a]n opportunity to enhance, update, and strengthen the leading and coordinating role of WHO and its function to act as the directing and coordinating authority on international health work in light of the 21st century global health landscape.” WHO needs “adequate and sustainable financing so that WHO can play a leading and coordinating role in global health.” It’s notable that the US contribution to the WHO, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars annually,was jeopardized when former president Donald Trump took actions to withdraw the US from the organization. It’s also worth noting that the Gates Foundation was one of the largest funders of the WHO in 2021, contributing about 9% of the overall budget that year.
- “Striving to achieve universal health coverage.”
- “Compliance and accountability” of Member States with International Health Regulations. The WHO already has an International Health Regulations document from 2005 that guides responses to global health initiatives. However, “There is a general consensus that several key aspects of health emergency preparedness and response may not be addressed solely” by that document.
- A “whole-of-government and whole-of-society” approach to prevention, rapid risk assessment, detection, and response. This type of objective can only be met by a massive amount of surveillance and data sharing.
- Increased sharing of pathogens, genetic information, biological samples, data, and technology.
- “Global coordinated actions to address the misinformation, disinformation, and stigmatization that undermine public health.”
Problems with a Pandemic Treaty
There are a wide range of problems with the Pandemic Treaty. First and foremost is the WHO’s self-assigned role to make decisions for Member Nations that preempt and in some cases override their national sovereignty. Since the WHO is claiming to be the highest health authority on the planet and has within itself the sole sovereign power to declare a global pandemic, any treaty that limits the freedom of movement (travel), right to earn a living (trade), or the privacy of a nation’s citizens should be discussed openly, carefully examined, and should only be ratified if it truly is in the best interest of the world.
The new proposed treaty builds off of and strengthens the already existing International Health Regulations of 2005 that grant authority to the WHO to “independently collect surveillance data on potential PHEICs [potential public health emergencies of international concern] within a country’s borders, report this information to other potentially affected countries, and to issue recommendations, such as trade and travel advisories, to control the spread of these threats.” Will these “recommendations” carry the force of guidelines or mandates in the future? If the period of the declared COVID-19 pandemic is any indication, where CDC recommendations were treated in their de facto implementation as if they carried the weight of law or mandates, we can assume that this is the direction the WHO and many of its members will also be going.
Another anticipated problem is the erosion and/or wholesale violation of data privacy. Health agencies like the CDC used the pandemic as an excuse to recommend contact tracing and the collection and sharing of private medical information using the justification that it was for “the greater good” of public health.
The CDC is now monitoring wastewater. In other words, they’re collecting data from the waste you flush down the toilet. This is the kind of privacy intrusion we are talking about. Can you imagine this on a global scale? The WHO is essentially erecting a global bio-security governance system that will push for the tracking of what was formerly private behavior and data, essentially eliminating health privacy for all people. Moreover, these same systems of surveillance can be leveraged for violating human rights and exerting control and restrictions on populations that have nothing to do with protecting their health.
We may be told that a treaty is necessary to continue international travel safely and protect national borders, but that’s false.
The WHO wants to increase sharing of pathogens, samples, and technology. If it’s true that the #1 health threat we face is pathogen-related in origin, then this focus would leave the world more vulnerable to potential mishandling and mistakes where something like a viral release, or even theft, could occur. Instead of preventing a world catastrophe, a treaty that increases sharing of pathogens around the globe inadvertently increases the risk of a pandemic.
Fearing disease is a human trait. We’re hardwired to fear things we don’t understand and that threaten our safety and survival. But we cannot let our fears steer the ship so that we end up making greater sacrifices of privacy and freedom than we’re receiving in return for the promise of safety.
Please act now to take a stand against a WHO global power grab and to stop the obliteration of health privacy. Click the button to sign our petition opposing a Pandemic Treaty. Once we reach 100,000 signatures, the petition will be sent to lawmakers and the President of the United States.
To learn more and access free quick printables summarizing the dangers of increasing the power of the World Health Organization go to SHF’s WHO Resource Page. There you will find links to all SHF articles and analysis, interviews with our Policy Analyst, and current actions you can take.
 Mack, Eric (2006) “The World Health Organization’s New International Health Regulations: Incursion on State Sovereignty and Ill-Fated Response to Global Health Issues,” Chicago Journal of international Law: Vol.7: No.1, Article 18. Available at: https://chicagounbound.uchicago.edu/cjil/vol7/iss1/18
 World Health Organization. International Health Regulations (2005) 3rd Edition [Internet]. Geneva, Switzerland; 2016. Available from: https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/246107/9789241580496-eng.pdf;jsessionid=571A416D79BA24BE767C1B1A23389728?sequence=1.