The Council adopted today a decision to support the launch of negotiations for an international treaty on the fight against pandemics. The World Health Assembly, the main governing body of the WHO, is expected to back the establishment of a process for a Framework Convention on Pandemic Preparedness and Response during its (virtual) meeting which starts on 24 May. The proposal for an international treaty on pandemics was first announced by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, at the Paris Peace Forum in November 2020.
The objective of the Council decision is to assure the participation of the EU in the negotiations addressing matters falling within Union competence, in view of the Union's possible accession to the treaty.
The proposal to conclude a treaty on pandemics is discussed in the context of international efforts to reinforce global health security, in particular on preparedness and response to health emergencies in light of lessons learnt from the pandemic.
Background and next steps
At the European Council of 25 February 2021 EU leaders underlined the need for global multilateral cooperation to adress current and future health threats and agreed to work on an international treaty on pandemics within the WHO framework and to advance global health security.
On 30 March 2021, leaders from all around the world joined the President of the European Council and the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in an open call for an international treaty on pandemics.
The European Union has an informal observer status at the WHO.