PSI statement at INB9

The ninth meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) for a WHO instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response is to be held in hybrid format from 18 to 28 March 2024.

PSI statement - read by PSI Health & Social Services Officer Baba Aye

On behalf of Public Services International, the global union federation representing more than 30 million worldwide, we call on member states to recall the lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic. The future instrument must include legally binding measures, to avoid needless deaths and drastic measures like the Great Lockdown.

It is imperative to strengthen the provisions related to health and care workforce, including decent work, principle of precaution and occupation and safety and health as principles of pandemic PPR. We welcome the inclusions in Art. 7, but we need more as health and care workers are the backbone of health systems and PPR.

We need to include obligations regarding access to benefits, a legally binding and automatically-triggered intellectual property waiver, strengthening production capacity of developing countries and language related to adequate funding of public health systems, as well as unequivocal commitment to equity within and between countries. Now, more than ever, Member States must put people before profits and health before wealth.