Global Health Community Should Work To Fill Gaps In International Health Regulations, Use Bioweapons Convention As Model, Expert Writes
Nature: Pandemic policy can learn from arms control
Rebecca Katz, professor at Georgetown University and director of the Georgetown University Center for Global Health Science and Security
“…[T]he global health community needs a way to help fill gaps in the [International Health Regulations (IHR)] and prevent new ones from emerging. Here is where the [Biological Weapons Convention (BWC)] can serve as a model. … Like the parties to the bioweapons convention, the WHO member states should convene regular ‘review conferences’ to discuss developments and their implications for the IHR. Nothing prohibits this, except inertia, and perhaps not knowing what a path forwards would look like. I have, with a team of collaborators, formed a global group of regulatory and governance scholars, called the International Law Impact and Infectious Disease Consortium, that stands ready to help. … This upcoming January, the WHO and its member states will meet to plan the World Health Assembly later in 2020. An IHR review conference, which can lay out a plan for future updates, should be on the agenda” (11/12).