Coronavirus (1404) Nature: World commits to a pandemic response pact: what's next (2) BMJ papers on global pandemic treaty

3 December, 2021

We noted yesterday that the article in Nature suggests the pact is focused mainly on equitable distribution of diagnostics, drugs and vaccines. But the BMJ EDitor's Choice by Fiona Godlee, and the BMJ blog by WHO Secretary-General Dr Tedros make clear that this is about 'all facets of pandemic prevention, preparation, and response'. Dr Tedros notes that current mechanisms are 'inadequate, particularly in our digital world'.

1. Fiona Godlee's Editor's Choice (extract): 'Covid-19 has laid bare national but also global shortcomings, writes WHO’s director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (,9 as part of two major BMJ collections of articles on pandemic preparedness published this week (; We need to revamp the world’s collective response, Tedros says. Key to that revamping will be a legally binding international treaty on pandemic preparedness and response, with a commitment to sharing data, information, resources, knowledge, and tools.'

2. Dr Tedros' blog (extracts):

What would this instrument look like? That would be up to Member States to decide. But at its heart is a commitment to sharing data, information, resources, knowledge, and tools; and strengthening global, regional, and national health systems to make them ready to respond...

The pandemic has also shown that the mechanisms we have in place to detect, prevent, and respond to an outbreak of potential pandemic threat are inadequate, particularly in our digital world...

I believe this can be achieved through a legally binding instrument covering all facets of pandemic prevention, preparation, and response, and addresses itself to today’s leaders and future generations and to adapt to a rapidly changing world.

I look forward to supporting WHO’s Member States do all in our collective power to prevent the next pandemic before it starts, to commit to take the steps needed before the first cases are reported, and to invest in the measures needed to stop an outbreak in its tracks.

3. 5 opinion articles and 2 analysis articles in the BMJ:

COMMENT (NPW): Dr Tedros's words 'particularly in our digital world' are appropriate. As we keep saying on HIFA, 'Never before has everyone been so aware of the need for reliable healthcare information, and yet so vulnerable to misinformation'. HIFA stands by to collaborate with WHO and others to better prevent, prepare and respond to future pandemics.

Best wishes, Neil

Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator,