What Can We Learn From what we can learn from United States Withdrawal from the World Health Organisation


As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to continue to linger, the leading international health instrument aimed at the coordination of a global response by states appears to be stuck in a tense and polarized situation due to a hostile and polarised climate and a regime that offers no control or recourse. This blog post notes the absence of oversight mechanisms within the International Health Regulations (IHR) of the World Health Organisation (WHO) before demonstrating the need for an examination meeting or a more favorable dispute settlement process to promote a more cooperative, responsible environment to fight epidemics efficiently.

In 2005, the International Health Regulations and the WHO limitations on power

IHR was revised in the year 2005. IHR was updated in 2005 after the 2002-2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic. The revision became effective in 2007. Because SARS was not a covered disease under the previous version of IHR, SARS disease was not included within the coverage of the prior edition of the IHR in 1969, the world community came together to develop the creation of a new instrument to coordinate actions to address new international health issues.

IHR is ‘the most important global instrument to safeguard against the spread of diseases, according to its Preamble. Innovations were introduced in the 2005 revision, including giving the World Health Organisation (WHO) the capacity through its Director-General to declare a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) by the provisions stated under Article 12. This clause intended to notify the countries of an ‘extraordinary situation, according to Article 1 of the IHR, that poses an increased risk for public health to other countries through the spread of disease across the globe and may require a coordinated response from the international community’. It was evident from the SARS epidemic that granting the WHO authorization to inform the world community of health emergencies that pose transboundary risks was a crucial step in controlling the situation. It permits the world to start the first steps of coordinating the global response to diseases. But, this measure is dependent entirely on states providing timely and accurate information about health emergencies within their territory.

As an organization, the WHO cannot collect information and information for each country. However, the obligation to share information lies with the state’s national authorities, per Article 6 in the IHR. States are obliged to notify the WHO within 24 hours of all events that could be considered to be an emergency for public health that are of international concern within their area of jurisdiction in addition to the requirements of Article 7 of the IHR, which states that the state must provide the WHO with all pertinent details on public health’ relating to unexpected or unusual public health incident in its area’ that could be an international health emergency. Although the IHR permits the WHO to consider reports from sources other than the state, as stated under Article 9(1) of the IHR, the WHO must still seek verification from state parties regarding these reports, as outlined in Article 10 of the IHR. The only circumstances the WHO might overlook are those of states’ non-collaboration, as stipulated in Article 10(4) of the IHR.

Therefore, if states do not follow their commitments with good faith and offer helpful information, the organization created to facilitate cooperation in the face of the global health crisis would be essentially blind. This is particularly true when there is conflict in geopolitics since it could result in a disaster for the international preparations for the emergence of pandemics.

The primary reason is the WHO’s absence of enforcement mechanisms when states break the IHR. The violation of the IHR doesn’t result in sanctions. Besides WHO guidelines not binding, there are no legal consequences directly related to them ignoring these recommendations. The only recourse in the event of a dispute, as stipulated in the IHR and Article 56, is the dispute settlement procedure provided by Article 56. If states are in dispute in their respective jurisdictions, they can decide to arbitrate. On the contrary, the conflict between WHO and the conditions is presented for resolution by the Health Assembly. This provision, however, is not used.

Therefore the current system to shield the world from the threat of a global pandemic rests entirely on states observing the obligations they owe to them with good faith. Thus, disputes that are difficult to resolve can be created when states accuse each other of forms of failing to do so.

the US in opposition to WHO and China WHO as well as China

The US-China conflict with the WHO is a recent example that has turned more dire. The dispute reached the point of escalating when President Trump announced in an interview in which he announced that the United States would terminate its relationship with the WHO. The US government then began with the process for formal withdrawal by sending an email informally notifying that it was formally notifying the United Nations. This comes in light of the United States government freezing the WHO’s funding and threatening to do it for the rest of its time. This is because the United States accused the Chinese government of not announcing the world community earlier. After all, it had covered the beginning stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 epidemic. Trump also said that Trump also declared that he is not convinced by the information provided by the WHO through the Chinese government on the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 disease.

Furthermore, there is a claim by the Trump administration that the WHO is under Chinese influence, which led to the excessive trust that China has placed in its initial stages of information about the COVID-19 pandemic’s spreading. This has raised tensions between two significant powerhouses further after recent trading wars, the inability at the G7 meeting on the issue of naming the virus, and concerns about an extended security power regarding Hong Kong. It is believed that the United States reconsidering its membership to the WHO could cause destruction and compromise the goals and objectives of the International Health Regulation and hinder the world’s efforts in fighting COVID-19 and the COVID-19 virus.

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