Slovakia and UK Reject WHO Pandemic Treaty Amid Sovereignty Concerns

Slovakia and the UK have refused to sign the WHO's pandemic treaty, citing concerns over loss of sovereignty. The treaty, aimed at establishing a global framework for preventing and responding to future pandemics, faces opposition from several countries.

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Slovakia and UK Reject WHO Pandemic Treaty Amid Sovereignty Concerns

Slovakia and UK Reject WHO Pandemic Treaty Amid Sovereignty Concerns

Slovakia and the United Kingdom have joined a growing list of countries refusing to sign the World Health Organization's (WHO) pandemic treaty, citing concerns over loss of sovereignty. The treaty, which aims to establish a global framework for preventing and responding to future pandemics, has faced resistance from several nations due to its potential impact on national decision-making powers.

Why this matters: The rejection of the WHO's pandemic treaty by multiple countries raises concerns about the ability of the international community to respond effectively to future health crises. If the treaty is not adopted, it could lead to a fragmented and ineffective global response to pandemics, potentially putting millions of lives at risk.

Peter Kotlár, the Slovak Government Plenipotentiary for the COVID-19 pandemic, announced that Slovakia would not support the current version of the new pandemic treaty or the draft amendment to the International Health Regulations. The Health Ministry of Slovakia emphasized that it would not endorse any documents that weaken Slovakia's position as a sovereign state.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus respected Slovakia's decision but encouraged the search for possible ways to reach an agreement. Representatives of the 194 WHO member countries have been meeting in Geneva since April 29 to seek consensus on the draft treaty.

The United Kingdom has also reportedly refused to sign the WHO's pandemic treaty, with concerns over vaccine-related commitments that would require the country to "give away a fifth of its jabs." The UK government has stated that it is "firmly against" any form of the pandemic agreement that undermines Britain's sovereignty.

In the United States, opposition to the treaty has been mounting, with 49 Republican senators, led by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), urging President Joe Biden to withdraw support for expanding the WHO's pandemic authority. Additionally, 22 US state attorneys general have expressed their disapproval of the treaty, arguing that it threatens US sovereignty by granting the WHO "unprecedented and unconstitutional powers over the people of the United States."

The pandemic treaty faces significant challenges, with several countries expressing concerns over loss of sovereignty, intellectual property rights, and the WHO's authority. Despite these obstacles, experts emphasize the importance of establishing a global framework for responding to future pandemics. As negotiations continue, it remains to be seen whether a consensus can be reached that addresses the concerns of all member nations while ensuring effective global cooperation in the face of future health crises.

Key Takeaways

  • Slovakia and UK refuse to sign WHO's pandemic treaty, citing sovereignty concerns.
  • Treaty aims to establish global framework for preventing and responding to pandemics.
  • Multiple countries oppose treaty, fearing loss of sovereignty and decision-making power.
  • US opposition grows, with 49 senators and 22 state attorneys general against treaty.
  • Treaty's fate uncertain, with negotiations ongoing to address member nations' concerns.