Did the government of Mexico just reject amendments to the WHO IHR (International Health Regulations)?!
Take a look at the viral claims, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : Mexico Just Rejected WHO IHR Amendments!
People are sharing a letter, which they claim is evidence that the government of Mexico just rejected amendments to the WHO IHR (International Health Regulations)!
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Truth : Mexico Did Not Reject WHO IHR Amendments!
This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS circulating on X (formerly Twitter), and here are the reasons why…
Fact #1 : Letter Was Posted Incomplete
First, I should point out that the viral letter that everyone has been sharing out is incomplete. It appears that only the first page was shared.
It is unknown how many pages there are, and it is impossible to know if the contents accurately reflect the many points that was shared on X (formerly Twitter).
Fact #2 : Letter Was Not From Mexican Government
I should also point out that the letter was not from the Mexican government. Neither was it addressed to the WHO.
The letter lacked any Mexican government letterhead, so it is unknown why anyone would think that this was an official letter by the government of Mexico to the WHO.
In fact, it appears to be a Mexican private citizen’s petition to the government of Mexico, which is a constitutional right in Mexico.
The letter appears to be addressed to four members of the Mexican government:
- President of the United Mexican States, Lic. Andrés Manuel López Obrador,
- Secretary of Health of the Federal Executive Branch, Dr. Jorge Carlos Alcocer Varela,
- General Health Council Dr. Jorge Carios Alcocer Varela, and
- Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Lic. Alicia Isabel Barcena Ibarra.
Any Mexican citizen can file a petition to the government of Mexico. It doesn’t mean the Mexican government accepts, or agrees with the petition.
To be clear – the viral letter does not show that the government of Mexico has rejected amendments to the WHO IHR (International Health Regulations).
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Fact #3 : WHO Member States Want To Amend IHR
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“.
The proposed recommendations came from WHO member states (including Mexico), and not WHO itself. Among the more than 300 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
In other words – this agreement is being formulated by WHO member states (including Mexico), and not the WHO itself.
For example, in the first meeting of the Working Group on Amendments to the International Health Regulations, 15 member countries proposed these IHR amendments.
Fact #4 : WHO Agreement Must Be Ratified By Member Countries
Regardless of what IHR amendments are ultimately agreed upon, the final WHO agreement must be approved and adopted by each individual country.
This is clearly stated in Article 33(1) of the zero draft (PDF) with my emphasis in bold:
In other words – there is no need for the Mexican government to “reject” the proposed WHO agreement. In the event the government of Mexico does not agree to the final WHO agreement, it can simply refuse to ratify or approve it.
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