Why Won’t the Government Tell Us What the WHO Wants Us to Sign Up to?

If you were expected to agree to an employment contract, would you not want to read it before signing? When you go to a restaurant, do you look at the menu before ordering your food or just eat whatever you happen to be given by the waiter? Or when buying a house or a car, would you not first want to view it and find out the details before committing to the purchase? In these situations, it is highly unlikely that you would simply trust that everything will turn out fine, with no essential information to inform your decision-making. Yet this is exactly what it appears the Government would like you to do with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and its opaque International Health Regulations Amendments (IHRs). In fact, it’s worse than that. In addition to being given virtually no information about the WHO’s IHR amendments, the British public will not get a say in whether or not our nation is signed up to the changed agreements. Regardless of your opinion on the matter, the Government and the WHO will decide for you. This is despite increasing numbers of credible voices, including Members of Parliament, expressing grave concerns about what this could mean for our individual freedom, our health choices, our economy and for our hard-won British democracy. It is therefore incredibly important that we all become aware of the issues around this debate and then consider expressing any resulting concerns that we may have. Most people would take this approach to any other situation which could dramatically affect the way they live their life and impact on their family and future.

The IHRs are being hidden from public scrutiny

You would be forgiven for not knowing about the WHO’s IHR amendments, because there is scant coverage of what they are within the mainstream media and therefore very little public discussion about them. This is unacceptable, given the impact which they could have on our lives.

In summary, the WHO is currently developing two international legal instruments intended to increase significantly its authority in managing public health emergencies, including pandemics:

Amendments to the 2005 International Health Regulations (the IHR amendments)
A pandemic treaty (the WHO Pandemic Agreement)

The WHO International Health Regulations group is set to agree on the amendments package to present to the World Health Assembly in May at the 77th World Health Assembly. The last draft of that document made available by the WHO was over two years ago, in February 2022 and as summarised in this comprehensive UsForThem briefing paper (full paper here), which gives a feel for the scale and severity of the issues, particularly in terms of their implications for human rights, free speech and national decision making autonomy.

Furthermore, there is strong evidence that the process has not been lawfully adhered to. The WHO failed to publish the revised package of IHR amendments back in January 2024, as required under Article 55 of the IHR. This means that the WHO cannot now lawfully present the IHR for a vote within the timeframes required under international law. The May deadline for the vote must therefore be extended. You would expect that something as important as this would be raised in Parliament and widely reported in the mainstream press, but it has not been.

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