The World Health Organization has been the target of conspirators’ wrath throughout the pandemic. The latest rumor lies in a so-called “pandemic treaty” – a wildly popular idea that claims governments around the world plan to cede all legal sovereignty to the United Nations health body. Prominent conspiracy influencers such as James Melville, Robert Malone and Maajid Nawaz are among those who warned their thousands of followers that the document would cede unlimited powers to a group of elite technocrats, with a tweet with 9, 5k likes from Nawaz encouraging US citizens to ‘hold the line’ in the face of ‘globalists’.
The rumor also passed through the mouths of government officials. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was filmed saying he would refuse to sign the treaty. Former US Representative Michele Bachmann has appeared on Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast and on GB News in the UK, saying the proposals outlined in the treaty would give the WHO the power to impose national lockdowns on participating countries . Social media users have also shared posts and videos claiming that US President Joe Biden intends to “to restore the sovereignty of the country” on public health issues at WHO.
In the UK, a petition with 146,000 signatures asks the government to refuse to sign the WHO prevention and preparedness treaty “unless it is approved by public referendum”, and MP Steve Baker submitted a question to the Minister of Health, asking if the government would sign. The UK issued a answer to the petition, explaining what the Pandemic Preparedness Treaty actually is.
What is really happening?
Rumors exaggerate proposed changes to the International Health Regulations (IHR), originally established in 1969, which outlines public responses to infectious diseases such as cholera, typhoid, yellow fever and smallpox. These regulations include things like mandatory quarantines for infected travelers, as well as guidelines to preserve personal and economic freedom.
The RSI has been changed several times throughout its history following severe infectious disease outbreaks, most recently in 2005 following the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak. So, since the start of 2021, world leaders have been working on new amendments as the COVID-19 pandemic exposed new weaknesses in existing regulations. A WHO committee is meeting this week to discuss possible changes.
Currently, there is no draft text of amendments to the IHR, and no draft is expected before August 2022. amendments include sharing pathogen genomic data, ensuring universal access to vaccine research and technology, and investing in national health – but all remain wish list items rather than future obligations. Most of the conspiratorial claims are drawn from the Biden administration instead proposed changes to the 2005 IHR, none of which has yet been discussed, modified, formalized or accepted by another country. And with such important treaties, it is extremely difficult to get all 196 countries to agree. It is likely that no changes to the RSI will be agreed and published until 2024.
Once adopted, IHR regulations are legally binding on WHO member countries, but this does not necessarily mean that they are enforceable. The only way the UN can punish member countries for non-compliance with the IHR is in the form of sanctions, which are only effective if member countries agree to impose them. It will also remain unlikely, as the US position is that the regulations should not be legally binding.
Conspirators believe that once passed, the so-called pandemic treaty would give the WHO superpowers, allowing it to impose international lockdowns. Not only does the UN lack the legal or practical authority to enforce these measures, but nowhere in the current draft of the proposals submitted by the US government are these measures even mentioned.
Another objective concerns the ability to declare pandemics based solely on the “personal opinion” of the WHO and against the will of each government. The conspiracy comes into play when they claim that the WHO is using this as a pretext to force rich countries to send money to developing countries in a kind of protection racket.
Claims about vaccine passports come from the WHO “frame of trust” which would allow countries to check the vaccination certificate systems of other countries. While this may seem like a step towards techno-dystopia, the reality of this project is less grim: a June 2021 WHO newsletter reported that the framework “will be informed by further consultations with States members”, i.e. it is still in development. . The United States has not committed to this program and does not have any sort of national vaccine database – so it seems unlikely that the WHO will be able to enforce this internationally no more.
Conspiracy theories and misinformation flourish wherever a gap in available information appears.
It’s true that some public health measures violate individual freedom – like quarantines, lockdowns, or masks – but it’s also true that some diseases just won’t go away without extreme measures. As mentioned, the RSI contains guidelines that give advice on how to avoid imposing these kinds of charges. It can actually be used as a tool to help avoid techno dystopia.
The Great Reset
Conspiracy theories surrounding the World Health Organization and IHR are best understood in the context of the Great Reset Conspiracy Theory. Throughout the pandemic, a growing number of people around the world have reacted to government lockdowns, imposed restrictions and vaccination mandates with anger, suspicion and sometimes outright denial of the reality of COVID-19. In the context of the Great Reset conspiracy, all public health measures taken by government organizations were designed as part of a grand plan by a dark cabal of elites to transform global civilization according to their own personal interests, depriving individuals of their personal lives. the freedom and ability to own money or property in the process. This often manifested as paranoia about vaccination mandates.
Conspiracy theories and misinformation flourish wherever a gap in available information appears. The political processes of major international organizations such as the WHO are often opaque to the average person, and conspiracy theories provide simple and understandable explanations of their inner workings, making villains an international political organization and a clean, polarized battle over multi-faceted issues. Unfortunately, the movements and mechanisms of international politics are rarely so simple. The IHR amendments, when finally adopted, will guide how governments respond to future pandemic events. It is therefore particularly important to be aware of the gap between the assertions made on the nature of these modifications and the reality of the legislative possibilities.