The International Health Regulation in force presently was adopted at the 58th World Health Assembly on the 28th May 2005 and became effective on the 15th of June 2007. The Regulation was enacted by the state parties of the WHO as a global code of practice guiding nations of the world in managing global health and infectious disease emergencies.
The regulation by the principles of international law, became binding and enforceable against member nations upon the adoption and coming into effect of the regulation in 2007.
The WHO, as the global primary policy maker and stakeholder in public health is the implementer of the IHR. Without any doubt, in the about 15 years of the promulgation of the IHR, at no time has the use and abuse of the legal instrument been tested as was seen since 2020/2021 during the outbreak and aftermath of the Covid-19.
However, much as the nations of the world were looking up to the WHO for leadership and policy direction in the global effort to contain the spread of the virus, so called, signs began to emerge that the global body was leading a commercial endeavour by pharmaceutical conglomerates, non-state parties, the deep state and other non-state actors for the imposition and administration of hardly tested mixtures as vaccines as well mandating masks.
The WHO was also accused of turning itself into a global agent of powerful western capitalists whose only interest in the fight against Covid-19, was money and hegemonic domination and control of developing and third world nations.
Unfortunately, the WHO has not done anything to discourage this thinking. Rather, evidence keeps emerging of the global organization positioning itself into a world power with a huge authority over what happens within the sovereign territory of nations.
As the world is recovering from the disruptions and hardships caused by the WHO dictated measures implemented by different countries, the United States Permanent Mission to the WHO submitted to the WHO a strange proposal to amend several Articles of the IHR. Ordinarily, going by the title and introduction to the text of the proposal, one would be forgiven if it is assumed that the proposal is intended for the greater good of all and to genuinely prepare the world for future outbreaks of global infections.
However, reading in between the lines of the texts being smuggled into the IHR and the ones proposed to be deleted from the existing law, one would clearly see the inevitably transmutation of the WHO into a totalitarian body with authority to walk across international borders without regard to rules of national sovereignty on the pretext of fighting outbreak of infection of global concern.
THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE INTERNATIONAL HEALTH REGULATION 2005
TO BE DEBATED AND PASSED AT THE WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY IN MAY 2022.
Association and membership of nations in global bodies from the United Nations, the EU, AU and other International organizations are based of the respect and upholding of the sovereignty of individual nations. Just as nations of the world are obliged to respect the inviolability of the sovereignty of each other, international organizations also relate with member states of the organization on the same principle. This implies that involvement and activities of these bodies within the territory of a member country must be with the prior permission and invitation of the nation state where the body is to operate. This has to be so as each country has its peculiar needs, cultures and most often faces differing challenges one from another.
Equally important is the fact that authority to make rules, regulations and policies for a people or nation must flow from the persons appointed or elected by the people themselves, which is not the case with global organization and multinational bodies whose leadership is controlled by powerful organizations and governments who provide the bulk of the operating resources of the bodies.
The United States of America has put forward a proposal to amend Articles 5,6,9,10,11,12,13,15,18,48.49.53 and 59 of the IHR, 2005,by deleting text from the existing law and introducing new texts to the law.
A careful study and review of the texts being removed from the law and the ones being introduced to the IHR clearly, very clearly show that these amendments have nothing to offer by way of ‘STRENGHTENING WHO PREPAREDNESS FOR AND RESPONSE TO HEALTH EMERGENCIES’ but a clandestine script for the positioning of the WHO as a world government and legalizing the transfer of national sovereignty of nations to the WHO and a fortiori, those persons and organizations who sponsor and control it.
The amendment being made to the original text of this article, proposes to remove requirement for the WHO to consult and obtain verification by nation where it is alleged that public health emergency of international concern has occurred before moving in or taking measures within or outside the country with respect to the alleged occurrence. This no doubt would be used by powerful nations and indeed, organizations to impose medicines, vaccines and measures on the citizens of nations that the people or their elected leaders are opposed to.
In the text proposed to be inserted into this section, it is made a matter of compulsion of a sort for a country to accept within 48 hours, an offer for collaboration and also provide requested information by the WHO on an allegation that a health emergency of international concern has
occurred or may occur in the territory of a state party. This proposed amendment automatically turns the WHO to a bully master of the affected nation. It is worryingly provided in the proposed amendment that a nation in which the WHO believes that a health emergency has occurred is given barely 48 hours to answer to queries from the WHO on the occurrence. This flies in the face of the sovereignty of the nations. Firstly, it is not possible to have such a response within the period of time provided and secondly and most worrisome is the fact that the nations and/or government of nations are made answerable to the head of World Health Organization.
By removing ‘may’ as it was used in the existing law and replacing it with ‘shall’ with respect to the right of state party where health emergency is reported to the WHO to exist to accept an offer for collaboration or help from the WHO, the proponents of these amendments are clearly set out to erode the powers of states to decide what health measures they allow on their citizens from the WHO and their agents and give the global body the power to side step political authority of nations in cases of alleged health emergencies. This same applies to Articles 11(2), 11(2) (e) and 11(3).
Under the proposed amendment being introduced here, the Director General of the WHO would become a global emperor with powers to declare a health emergency has occurred within a state party even when the national authority of the country has not made such determination or does not accept the report of the WHO on the occurrence, including allegations of potential occurrence. This same vice is contained in the amendment in Article 12(4) (a),and the new articles 12(5) and (6) being proposed.
Just as observed above, the true intention of the inventors of the proposed amendments to the IHR is not the positioning of the WHO to better prepare to meet the challenges to future health emergencies but to eliminate the international rule on national sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations, eradication of individual right to private life and right to decide what medication one receives for illness and also the dismantling of national boundaries making the world one open place for the WHO and its sponsors to practice their medicine merchandise.
To sign up to these proposed amendments is for a nation to cede its sovereignty, security and rights of its citizens to the WHO, its Director General.
Authority and sovereignty must reside with the people and their elected leaders.
Our conclusion is that Nigeria and indeed all other sovereign nations should not sign up to this proposed amendment to the IHR. Should for any reason the leadership of the nation want to cast a second look at this proposal, same should be passed to the National Assembly for our elected representatives and the public to have a say on it as the clear implications of the text of this proposal has very troubling and far reaching implications for the world at large and Nigeria in particular.
We must all remember the ill-fated Infectious disease bill ostensibly smuggled in from Singapore by the Nigerian Law makers during the Covid-19 era under the influence of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the WHO, which sought to transfer the powers granted only to the President to the director of the CDC. These amendments to IHR are simply the amplified version of the failed Infectious disease bill. The people and government of every nation should do everything possible to stop the adoption of these amendments to the IHR.