Consultations on a New International Pandemic Agreement

The FNIH and the O’Neill Institute convened high-level meetings to inform the World Health Organization (WHO) and global community on a treaty or other instrument on pandemic preparedness.


From November 29-December 1, 2021, the World Health Assembly (WHA) hosted an historic special session and resolved to negotiate an international agreement on pandemic preparedness and response. To inform and support the WHO in its direction forward, the FNIH and O’Neill Institute in September convened over 30 leading experts from across the world for a high-level meeting. The initial meeting, followed by subsequent regional consultations convened in Africa, Latin America-Caribbean, and Southeast Asia, resulted in this report.

Building off of major themes raised during these discussions, the report highlights the weaknesses and persisting gaps in global pandemic preparedness and what a new international agreement or instrument might include to address them. The report and its recommendations reflect the diversity of ideas and perspectives among the participating experts. 

COVID-19 has exacerbated the shortcomings within international health systems — from the gaps in surveillance, data, and preparedness to global disparities and inequalities. This report highlights those issues, along with the potential components of a revised international legal instrument.

Pandemic Treaty What Comes Next?
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What to know about an International Pandemic Agreement-- Click Image to Expand
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Report Cover
US Mission Geneva/Eric Bridiers
Photo by US Mission Geneva/Eric Bridiers


WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ opening remarks to the FNIH-O’Neill High Level Meeting on September 8, 2021.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a catastrophic collapse of global solidarity at every level. This is the most important moment in global health for generations, and out of this crisis must come innovative solutions. The O'Neill Institute takes great pride in partnering with FNIH to develop a report that supports WHO and member states in discussions of a potential pandemic agreement. A global and collaborative effort, our report reflects recommendations for better preparedness built off of diverse perspectives. As a WHO collaborating center, we will do everything we can to support decision makers in ensuring the future of global health security."

Lawrence O. Gostin, Director
O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law



The Lancet (March 23, 2022): Financing the Future of WHO by Lawrence O Gostin, Kevin A Klock, Helen Clark, Fatimatou Zahra Diop, Dayanath Jayasuriya, Jemilah Mahmood, Attiya Waris

Africa Health (January 2022): Going Global, Acting Local: The International Pandemic Agreement by Kevin A. Klock, Lawrence O. Gostin, and Sam F. Halabi

World Health Organization (December 1, 2021): The World Together: World Health Assembly Resolution on the Establishment of an Intergovernmental Negotiating Body to Strengthen Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness, and Response 

Think Global Health (November 28, 2021): No Future But A Shared Future by Lawrence O. Gostin, Kevin A. Klock, Sam F. Halabi, Katie Gottschalk, and Katherine Ginsbach

JAMA Network (September 15, 2021): An International Agreement on Pandemic Prevention and Preparedness by Lawrence O. Gostin, Sam F. Halabi, and Kevin A. Klock

O'Neill Institute Blog (September 14, 2021): Toward a Pandemic Agreement: WHO Collaborating Center Support for a New Mechanism

Postgraduate Medical Journal (September 11, 2021): New International Pandemic Treaty: Potential Implications for Clinicians Worldwide by Sarosh Nagar

JAMA Network (August 31, 2021): Strengthening Global Health Security and Reforming the International Health Regulations by Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra

Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics (August 17, 2021): Developing an Innovative Pandemic Treaty to Advance Global Health Security by Lawrence O. Gostin, Benjamin Mason Meier, and Barbara Stocking

World Health Organization (May 31, 2021): World Health Assembly Resolution to hold a Special Session to Consider Developing a WHO Convention

World Health Organization (May 31, 2021): WHO Director-General’s Closing Remarks at the World Health Assembly

Kevin A. Klock (2013): The Soft Law Alternative to the WHO's Treaty Powers

FNIH Contacts

*The views expressed in these materials are those of the respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the FNIH.