What if the world was governed like the Allianz insurance company?
Public Lecture by the German Platform for Global Health
Date: Thursday, 24 June 2021
Time: 18 – 20 h
The Lecture and discussion will be held in English
The Pandemic treaty: what if the world was governed like the Allianz insurance company?
Dr. Remco van de Pas, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium
Karolin Seitz,Global Policy Forum
The German Government has put its weight behind the proposal of Charles Michel of the EU Council, the Director General of the World Health Organization Dr. Tedros and 20 more heads of states from around the world to discuss and negotiate an international pandemic treaty, or more precisely, a Framework Convention for Pandemic Preparedness and Response.
This is very much in line with the ambition of the German Government to further strengthen multilateral global health governance and health security as outlined in the Global Health Strategy of the German Government, endorsed in October 2020 (see https://www.bundesgesundheitsministerium.de/themen/internationale-gesundheitspolitik/global/globale-gesundheitspolitik-gestalten/strategie-der-bundesregierung.html)
The first debates among WHO member states at the virtual World Health Assembly on 24th May have put the decision for such negotiations to another meeting in November 2021, but already now the debate is in full swing and the German Platform for Global Health wants to give some critical analysis and input from a civil society perspective.
We have invited Dr. Remco van de Pas, researcher at the Health Policy Unit of the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp and a long standing Global Health analyst and activist with Medicus Mundi International and the Geneva Global Health Hub for a Public Lecture on this new proposal to shape the future global preparedness and response to coming pandemics.
While there has been already much geopolitical debate about the content and frame of such a treaty, a crucial question remains neglected. What are the structural issues that have led to the ongoing pandemic in the first place? While the treaty has the objective to enhance preparedness and response for a next pandemic, it may fail to enable the urgent transformation and politics needed to ensure socio-economic wellbeing and ecological restoration.
The treaty is made for a global risk society that tries to minimalize risks of future health emergencies. It takes an insurance type approach, including financial liability instruments, as a safeguard for future risks and damages . Despite all lofty goals, it is hence a much reactive approach, mainly trying to secure and justify the current political status quo including its global injustices. This has included an ever increasing “multi stakeholder approach” to Global Health Governance. After seeing big philanthropic foundations, private pharmaceutical companies and corporate networks like the World Economic Forum entering the scene, is it now the private insurance model that is shaping the global response to Pandemic preparedness and response?
We hope to have some thought provoking analysis and positions and discuss them with the audience after the lecture.