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UK Refuses To Sign 'Unacceptable' WHO Pandemic Treaty | Here's Why

Minister of State for Health Minister Andrew Stephenson stated that the UK will not sign any global agreement that undermines Britain's sovereignty.

AP
UK Refuses To Sign 'Unacceptable' WHO Pandemic Treaty | Here's Why Photo: AP
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The United Kingdom is reportedly not ready to sing the Pandemic Treaty put forth by the World Health Organisation. As per a report by the Telegraph, the UK has stated that the conditions of the global pandemic treaty are unacceptable to the country.

Minister of State for Health Minister Andrew Stephenson stated that the UK will not sign any global agreement that undermines Britain's sovereignty.

Speaking during a parliament session, Stephenson stated - "The current text is not acceptable to us, therefore unless the current text is changed and refined we will not be signing up".

He added that Britain would only accept the Pandemic Accords if they respect its country sovereignty and "are firmly in the United Kingdom's national interest".

"Under no circumstances will we allow the WHO to have the power to mandate lockdowns, this would be unthinkable and has never been proposed. Protecting our sovereignty is a British red line," the minister added further.

What Are The Pandemic Accords?

Following the COVID-19 pandemic from 2020 to 2022, the World Health Organisation and 194 member states of the United Nations worked on drafting a treaty which would help countries be better prepared for the next pandemic.

These accords, which have been in the works for since 2021 aim to create a global agreement for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response for the future. Talks to finalise the treaty are being held during closed-door meetings in Geneva.

Why Is The UK Refusing To Sign?

Under the current terms of the treaty, the United Kingdom would be required to give 20 percent of "pandemic related health products" to other countries. The treaty would also prevent Britain from stockpiling supplies such as PPE, vaccines, therapeutics and other products.

The document states countries should "set aside a portion of its total procurement of relevant diagnostics, therapeutics or vaccines in a timely manner for use in countries facing challenges… and avoid having national stockpiles of pandemic-related health products”.

The document further adds that WHO would receive 10 percent of access to these products for free and 10 percent at an affordable price.

"Of course we are a generous country. Companies may make their own choices to donate vaccines, but this would be and should be entirely their decision," Stephenson said, adding that the ruling Conservative government will not sign anything "which would leave our population unprotected in the face of a novel disease".

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