WHO members miss deadline for agreement on pandemic treaty

Member states of the World Health Organization have failed to meet a deadline on consensus for a global treaty to fight future pandemics in time. They plan to discuss measures going forward at the WHO general assembly that starts in Switzerland next week.

The WHO members began talks two years ago based on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. Negotiators had discussed ways to strengthen global anti-infection measures to prevent the spread of new viruses.

But negotiations ended on Friday without adopting a document.

The sticking points included the transfer of technologies and the sharing of information about pathogens.

Developing countries demanded the distribution of vaccines, but developed nations expressed concerns about the impact that could have on their pharmaceutical firms.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for continued negotiations, saying, "We need to use the World Health Assembly to re-energize us and finish the job at hand, which is to present the world with a generational pandemic agreement."

He added, "The world still needs a pandemic treaty."