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Title:WHO debate, UK parliament
Duration:25:11
Viewed:189,759
Published:18-12-2023
Source:Youtube

Mr. Andrew Bridgen. Link to poorly attended UK Parliament debate on the International Health Regulations, Westminster Hall, Monday 18th December 2023, https://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/5e1f14d2-72b3-488f-a53c-fc94fee92dac Full transcript https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2023-12-18/debates/945EBBB4-D052-4CF7-8109-B39FF7FF919D/InternationalHealthRegulations2005 It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Dame Maria. I, too, thank the 116,000 members of the public who signed this public petition so that we can have this important debate today. I would also like to thank Dr David Bell—someone who actually worked for the WHO for a number of years—for his briefings to me, and also the Swiss lawyer Philipp Kruse for his contributions to the information I have with me today. I would like to start by agreeing with the hon. Member for Shipley (Philip Davies). Both he and I spoke in the public petition debate on 17 April this year when we considered the pandemic treaty. It is impossible to consider either the pandemic treaty or the amendments to the international health regulations in isolation; they are two linked instruments of the WHO, and they need to be considered in parallel. My opening question is this: why does the WHO make false claims regarding proposals to seize states’ sovereignty? In referring to the WHO’s new pandemic agreement and the proposed amendments to the international health regulations currently being negotiated, the director general of the WHO has stated: “No country will cede any sovereignty to WHO.” His statements are clear, unequivocal, and also wholly inconsistent with the text he is referring to. I remind the Chamber that this is the unelected, unaccountable, non-taxpaying, and immune-from-prosecution-due-to-diplomatic-immunity director general of the WHO. All employees of the United Nations and the WHO enjoy those particular perks. Any rational examination of the text in question shows that the documents propose a transfer of decision-making power to the WHO regarding basic aspects of societal function that countries undertake to enact. The WHO director general will have the sole authority to decide when and where they are required, and the proposals are intended to be binding under international law. Continued claims that sovereignty is not lost, echoed by politicians in this House, other elected assemblies, and of course the media, therefore raise very important questions concerning motivations, competence and ethics. The intent of the texts is a transfer of decision making, currently vested in nations and individuals, to the WHO when its director general decides that there is a threat of a significant disease outbreak or other health emergency likely to cross multiple national borders. It is very unusual for nations to undertake to follow external entities regarding the basic rights and healthcare of their citizens, more so when that has a major economic and geopolitical implication. The question of whether sovereignty is being transferred, and the legal status of such an agreement, is therefore of vital importance, particularly to legislators of democratic states such as ourselves. We have an absolute duty to be sure of our ground, and I systematically examine that ground here today. Amending the 2005 international health regulations may be a straightforward way to quickly deploy and enforce what appears to be the new normal for health control measures that we have seen implemented since the covid-19 pandemic. The current text applies to virtually the entire global population, counting 196 states, including all 194 WHO member states. Approval may or may not be required by a formal vote of the World Health Assembly: the recent 2022 amendment was adopted through consensus. If the same approval mechanism were to be used in May 2024, many countries, and indeed the public, might remain unaware of the broad scope of the new text and its implications for national and individual sovereignty. That is why today’s debate is so important. The IHR set recommendations under a treaty process that currently has force under international law. Those recommendations seek to provide the WHO with some moral authority to co-ordinate and lead responses when an international health emergency occurs, such as the pandemic. Most are non-binding, and those regulations contain very specific examples of measures that the WHO can currently recommend. That includes article 18, under which it can



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