WHO amends IHR recommendations after widespread concerns, dropping binding directives.

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In a significant turn of events, the WHO Working Group has made substantial revisions to its International Health Regulations (IHR), addressing long-standing criticisms and concerns. This climbdown marks a pivotal victory for national democracy, free speech, and human rights, with several contentious proposals being dropped from the interim draft document. As the final negotiations approach, this development underscores the power of public advocacy in shaping global health governance and curbing potential overreach by international bodies.

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Key points:

  • Massive climb down from WHO Working Group on substantive concerns raised over 18 months.
  • WHO recommendations remain non-binding; Article 13A.1 dropped, preventing Member States from following WHO directives.
  • Proposal erasing reference to “dignity, human rights, and fundamental freedoms” abandoned.
  • WHO can intervene in pandemics only when happening or likely, requiring coordinated international action.
  • Abandoned proposals include global censorship, information control, and expansion of IHRs’ scope.
  • Recognition that Member States, not WHO, implement regulations; plans for WHO to police compliance diluted.
  • Other diluted provisions include surveillance mechanisms, digital health passports, and forced technology transfers.
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