Is the Biden Administration negotiating to sign over US sovereignty to the World Health Organization (WHO)?!
Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : Biden Admin Is Going To Sign Over US Sovereignty To WHO!
People are sharing an article by The Epoch Times, which claims that the Biden Administration is negotiating a deal to give WHO authority over US pandemic policies!
Here is an excerpt of the very long article, so please feel free to skip to the next section for the facts!
The Biden administration is preparing to sign up the United States to a “legally binding” accord with the World Health Organization (WHO) that would give the Geneva-based United Nations health agency the authority to dictate America’s policies during a pandemic.
Despite widespread criticism of the WHO’s response to the COVID pandemic, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra joined with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in September 2022 to announce “the U.S.-WHO Strategic Dialogue.” Together, they developed a “platform to maximize the longstanding U.S.–WHO partnership, and to protect and promote the health of all people around the globe, including the American people.”
Truth : Biden Admin Is NOT Going To Sign Over US Sovereignty To WHO!
This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS about the Biden Administration, and the WHO, and here are the reasons why…
Fact #1 : WHO Member States Want To Better Prepare For Future Pandemics
This claim is based on WHO member state discussions in 2022, to amend existing International Health Regulations to strengthen the world’s preparedness against future global pandemics.
The International Health Regulations (IHR) were first adopted by member states in 1969, empowering the WHO to monitor global diseases. Those regulations have since been revised over the years, including in 2005 – after the SARS outbreak.
On 1 December 2021, world leaders agreed to kickstart the process to draft and negotiate an agreement or convention to “strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness and response“.
Fact #2 : Recommendations Came From WHO Member States
The proposed recommendations came from WHO member states, and not WHO itself. Among the more than 200 recommendations on how to better prepare for the next pandemic were:
- sharing of data and genomic sequences on emerging viruses
- a plan for equitable vaccine distribution
- a ban on wildlife markets
- incentives for reporting new viruses or variants
Fact #3 : Biden Administration Does Not Want A Binding Agreement
While the European Union proposed that the changes be adopted in the form of a new treaty, a measure backed by Britain, Indonesia and Kenya, among other countries.
Despite what people are claiming on social media, the United States has opposed a binding treaty. India and Brazil are similarly reluctant about adopting a treaty.
The EU proposed the treaty and is its biggest backer, with support from Britain, Indonesia, Kenya and others.
The United States will take part in the talks but has opposed a binding treaty. India and Brazil have also voiced reservations.
With so many member countries involved, securing agreement is likely to be tricky.
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Fact #4 : Future WHO Agreement May Not Be Binding
The zero draft of the proposed WHO agreement on preparing for future pandemics was released on 1 February 2023, and was the focus of the article by The Epoch Times.
If you download and read the zero draft, you will realise that the WHO is still calling it a “convention, agreement, or other international instruments“, clearly showing that member countries have not decided whether they want it to be binding or otherwise.
In the third point noted on the very first page of the draft, it was even pointed out that this is just a draft that is being used for “commencing negotiations“, and that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed“.
The INB (Intergovernmental Negotiating Body) further agreed that the zero draft would be considered at its fourth meeting as a basis for commencing negotiations at that meeting, it being understood that the zero draft will be without prejudice to the position of any delegation and following the principle that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”.
So it is ludicrous for anyone who read the first page of the zero draft to claim that the Biden Administration is planning to sign away US sovereignty to the WHO.
Fact #5 : Zero Draft Specifically Addressed Sovereignty
The zero draft of the proposed WHO agreement on preparing for future pandemics even addresses the issue of national sovereignty on Article 4 (3):
3. Sovereignty – States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, the sovereign right to determine and manage their approach to public health, notably pandemic prevention, preparedness, response and recovery of health systems, pursuant to their own policies and legislation, provided that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to their peoples and other countries. Sovereignty also covers the rights of States over their biological resources.
Anyone who read the zero draft can clearly see that even the “draft” has clarified that no country is signing over its national sovereignty to the WHO.
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Fact #6 : WHO DG Dismissed Sovereignty Claim In May 2022
On May 17, 2022, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus dismissed the claim that countries signing up for this new agreement would be giving up their sovereignty.
The accord process is led by Member States with their own Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (called INB), representing all regions of the world. The INB has now started a two-year process that includes global public hearings with all stakeholders. This represents the world’s opportunity to plan together, detect pathogens quicker, share data broadly and collectively respond more effectively to the next diseases X or known pathogens.
Unfortunately, there has been a small minority of groups making misleading statements and purposefully distorting facts.
I want to be crystal clear. WHO’s agenda is public, open and transparent. WHO stands strongly for individual rights. We passionately support everyone’s right to health and we will do everything we can to ensure that that right is realized.
The first ever World Health Assembly, which took place soon after the WHO Constitution entered into force in 1948, was a watershed event in global public health. And like the proposed pandemic preparedness accord, this did not mean WHO usurped nations’ sovereignty; in fact it strengthened countries’ ability to fight diseases together.
WHO is an expression of Member States’ own sovereignty and WHO is entirely what the sovereign 194 Member States want WHO to be.
Every year, these sovereign governments come together at the World Health Assembly to set the health agenda for the world. Individually we can’t beat pandemics; our best chance is together.
Fact #6 : WHO Treaty Cannot Bypass US Senate Ratification
The claim that the Biden Administration is using the WHO treaty to bypass US senate ratification is nonsense.
The US Constitution gives the Senate the sole power to approve, by a two-thirds vote or more, all international treaties (binding agreements) negotiated by the executive branch.
[The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur;
In other words, the Biden Administration can negotiate any agreement it wants with other WHO member countries, but it must still seek ratification by the two-thirds of the US Senate.
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