Could the World Health Organization use the next pandemic to become a global tyrant?

The World Health Organization (WHO), the health agency of the United Nations, is drafting new documents which aim to radically change response and readiness for future pandemics.

These reforms include extensive amendments to the 2005 International Health Regulations (IHR) and a new pandemic regulation, which are intended to govern the relationship between  the WHO  and its 194 member states.

The proposed agreements are due to be voted upon by the 194 Member States in the week of 27 May 2024. These changes include amending the very nature of the WHO, turning it into a world governing body that can enact enforceable proclamations with a simple majority vote among its member states. The new pandemic regulation will require the approval of at least two-thirds of member states (i.e. 131 countries) and would be subject to its national ratification process.

But the International Health Regulations can be amended by only 50 percent of member states (98 countries).

If passed, these international agreements will give the WHO extraordinary powers to declare anything they want a “pandemic risk”, with the correlating power to enable it to implement lockdowns, mandate vaccines and apply other measures such as censorship and population surveillance. Experts who have worked for the United Nations have expressed concerns about these radical changes, arguing that they will usurp the sovereignty of all states.

According to political science professor Ramesh Thakur, former UN Assistant Secretary-General, “[t]he set of changes to the architecture of global health governance will effectively change the WHO from a technical advisory organisation offering recommendations, into a supranational public health authority telling governments what to do”.

The working groups involved in these negotiations must follow UN principles and guidelines for international negotiations. These are still being negotiated and they leave insufficient time for the state members to consider them more carefully before voting.

On 14 May, the Australian Prime Minister received a letter co-signed by a group of 14 cross-party federal parliamentarians raising serious concerns about the proposed amendments to the International Health Regulations and the WHO Pandemic Treaty. Signed by Senators Alex Antic, Pauline Hanson, Matt Caravan, Malcolm Roberts, Ralph Babet, and nine other members of Parliament, the letter first reminds the Prime Minister that “the WHO has demonstrated through the COVID period that its global approach to providing recommendations to respond to actual or perceived public health emergencies consistently resulted in more damage than was prevented and has caused untold losses both economically and socially”.

It then goes on to correctly explain that the WHO has no power under its own constitution to implement a Pandemic Treaty which goes well beyond its jurisdiction. The letter concludes:

“The IHR Amendments and the WHO Pandemic Treaty will transform the WHO from an advisory organisation to a supranational health authority dictating how governments must respond to emergencies which the WHO itself declares. For these reasons, that outcome is well outside the jurisdictional competence of the WHO and WHA, and in any event, is unacceptable to many Australians. We call on the Government to reject the IHR Amendments and the WHO Pandemic Treaty…”

Amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR)

The International Health Regulations (IHR) consist of a multilateral treaty binding all the 194 member states which ratified these regulations and the WHO. Accordingly, member states must abide by the procedural rules of Article 55(2) of International Health Regulations and they cannot suspend these rules unilaterally. In this context, 307 proposed amendments to the IHR are being currently negotiated by the “Working Group on Amendments to the International Health Regulations” (WGIHR).

One of the reasons to initiate the amending process is the express concern of the WHO that its member states did not satisfactorily comply with their obligations under the IHR during the “Covid-19 Public Health Emergency of International Concern”. That being so, according to Dr Precious Matsoso, co-chair of the WHO’s Intergovernmental Negotiating Body Bureau, the primary goal now is preparing the world for responding to future pandemics.

However, Dr Silvia Behrendt, who holds a PhD on International Health Regulations from Georgetown University, and Professor Amrei Müller, who teaches International Humanitarian Law at University College Dublin, comment:

“The outcomes of these processes have the potential to affect the livelihoods, lives, health and human rights of individuals around the world, inter alia, because amendments proposed will, if adopted, give unique ‘emergency’ powers to the WHO and in particular its Director-General (DG), thereby entrenching the securitised approaches to managing infectious disease outbreaks embodied in the so-called Global Health Security (GHS) doctrine that has dominated the WHO-led global response to Covid-19 into international health law”.

Under the proposed amendments, Article 49.5 of the International Health Regulations enables the WHO Director-General to personally select all the members of the Emergency Committee tasked to make final determinations regarding pandemic measures. Under Article 42, “States Parties shall take all practical measures, in accordance with national laws, to engage with non-State actors operating in their respective jurisdictions with a view to achieving compliance with, and implementation of, health measures taken pursuant to these regulations”.

This should be ensured by a National IHR Authority established by each of the member states at the national level, charged with the task to coordinate the implementation of the International Health Regulations within the territory of the member states.

Under the proposed regulations, a “public health emergency” would not even have to be real because a “pandemic emergency” can be “likely” and associated with “public health risk”. Accordingly, the Director General will have the power to declare a “potential public health emergency” on his own. In other words, such a declaration may be made due to the likelihood of an event that may present a serious danger. WHO member states will be required to create a National IHR Authority to coordinate the implementation of these measures into domestic legislation and administrative arrangements, and report to the WHO on their compliance.

At the event of a “potential public health emergency”, the WHO via its Director General would therefore have the authority to order lockdowns, travel restrictions, forced medical examinations, mandatory vaccinations, and isolation and quarantine.

Of course, this could have disastrous influences for the enjoyment of basic human rights, among them the right to bodily autonomy, and the right to safe and effective medical products. Vaccine passports are discussed in the document but they are called “health documents” – a global system of health certificates relating to testing, vaccination, prophylaxis and recovery. Personal medical information will be supplied to the WHO and it can be disclosed to others.

Finally, freedom of information will be severely curtailed by means of mis-and-disinformation policies combined with the control of research and censoring of scientific debate.

To give one final example, the amendments propose that the present reference in Article 3 of the IHR to “full respect for the dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of the person”, be replaced by “equity, coherence and inclusivity”.

This would represent the replacement of the vocabulary traditionally adopted by the international human rights movement, as properly expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, with a language that is more in line with the present woke movement and its radical agenda.

Proposal for the WHO Pandemic Agreement.

The second document pending approval by State Members is the new “Proposal for the WHO Pandemic Agreement”. The proposed agreement requires all 194 member states to work together so as to develop policies for pandemic prevention and public surveillance. They must implement “collaborative surveillance” and surrender to the WHO their power to decide whether anything may be a pandemic.

Article 4. Pandemic prevention and public health surveillance

  1. The Parties recognize that environmental, climatic, social, anthropogenic and economic factors increase the risk of pandemics and endeavor to identify these factors and take them into consideration in the development and implementation of relevant policies, strategies and measures at the international, regional and national levels, as appropriate, including by strengthening synergies with other relevant international instruments and their implementation.

Basically, the above provision states that the WHO will be able to adapt necessary guidelines, recommendations and standards for just about everything! Vaccine manufacturers will be free from liability with countries required to grant indemnities and establish state compensation schemes for the injured.

Article 5. One Health

1) The Parties Committee to promote a One Health approach for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, recognizing the interconnection between people, animals and the environment, that is coherent, integrated, coordinated and collaborative among all relevant organizations, sectors and actors, taking into account national circumstances.

Under One Health, anything the WHO thinks may be an environmental or social concern will be enough to activate its own power to interfere and to change everything radically. For example, the WHO will be empowered to decide whether livestock farming or any other food farm poses a health risk, or whether a business may cause an adverse effect on climate change.

Article 14. Regulatory Strengthening

1) Each Party shall take steps to ensure that it has the legal, administrative and financial frameworks in place to support emergency regulatory authorizations for the effective and timely approval of pandemic-related health products during a pandemic, monitoring adverse events, and sharing of regulatory dossier through WHO, as appropriate …

4) The parties shall, as appropriate, monitor, regulate and strengthen rapid alert systems against substandard and falsified pandemic-related health products.

What this Article is saying is that the WHO will prepare regular reviewing practices of national policies and strategies. The WHO wants its member states to make sure that that all their domestic laws allow it to make a final decision about an “emergency declaration”. This basically means that the WHO will have the power to impose whatever it wants, thus sidestepping any domestic legislation and handing over everything to its bureaucrats.

As a consequence, no country associated with the WHO will be allowed to adopt legislation that prohibits gross violations of human rights, including lockdowns, vaccine mandates and forced medical testing.

Article 18. Communication and public awareness

The Parties shall strengthen science, public health and pandemic literacy in the population, as well as access to transparent, accurate, science- and evidence-informed information on pandemics and their causes, impacts and drivers, particularly through risk-communication and effective community-level engagement.

The Parties shall, as appropriate, conduct research to inform policies on factors that hinder or strengthen adherence to public health and social measures in a pandemic and trust in science and public health institutions, authorities and agencies.

The above proposal indicates that the WHO aims at “re-educating” the populations so as to make them more compliant, and not hesitant, to do whatever it freely wants.

Article 32. Withdrawal

At any time after two years form the date on which the WHO Pandemic Agreement has entered into force for a Party, that Party may withdraw from the Agreement by giving written notification to the Depositary.

Any such withdrawal shall take effect upon expiry of one year from the date of receipt by the Depositary of the notification of withdrawal, or on such later date as may be specified in the notification of withdrawal.

As can be seen, if a State Member desires to withdraw from the WHO’s Pandemic Agreement it can only be done two years after it was signed into law, and such withdrawal will take a full year to be finally accomplished. In other words, a party is in it for at least three years no matter what. The agreement will be a five-year agreement to be revised every five years. 


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Is the WHO too entangled with China?

Established on 7 April 1948, the WHO is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and has six regional offices and 150 field offices worldwide. It is responsible for international public health, receiving voluntary contributions from private and public partnerships. It sets international health standards and guidelines and provides technical assistance to countries in need.

Since most of its income presently comes from “voluntary contributions”, it is not surprising that its policies and strategies are heavily influenced by the big pharmaceutical corporations. Indeed, about 80 percent of all WHO’s funding comes from these “voluntary contributions”. The largest private donor is the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation ($592 million) followed by the Gates-run GAVI – Vaccine Alliance ($413 million).

Dr Richard Muller is Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of California-Berkeley. He is now convinced that Covid-19 was “a million-to-one proposition to have arisen naturally”. Instead, Professor Muller argues that it is “extremely likely” that the virus was released from a lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, in China. Of course, one can only hope this persuasive theory that Covid-19 has ‘escaped’ from that CCP virus lab is just a coincidence.

Be that as it may, the fact is that the WHO has been notoriously associated with the Chinese government, or, more precisely, its ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In fact, Covid was declared by a “global pandemic” only after WHO’s Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, visited Beijing to meet with President Xi Jinping, on 11 March 2020. After this meeting that the WHO declared Covid a “public emergency of international concern”. Writing for Foreign Policy, Hinnerk Feldwish-Drentrup comments:

“Beijing succeeded from the start in steering the World Health Organization (WHO), which received both funding from China and is dependent on the regime of the Communist Party on many levels. Its international experts didn’t get access to the country until Director-General Tedros Adhanom visited President Xi Jinping at the end of January”.

In their February 2020 Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the organization congratulates the Chinese Communist regime for its “uncompromising and rigorous use of non-pharmaceutical measures”, including lockdown techniques. To a great extent, these lockdowns were subsequently adopted by other nations with serious consequences to basic human rights and the global economy.

According to Steve Tsang, director of the China Institute at the University of London, “with WHO presenting China’s responses in a positive light, the Chinese government was able to make its propaganda campaign to ignore its earlier mistakes appear credible and to ignore the human societal, and economic costs of its responses”.

The WHO went even to the lengths of deeply praising the people of China for reacting to government responses “with courage and conviction”. “The community has largely accepted the prevention and control measures and is fully participating in the managements of self-isolation and enhancement of public compliance”, the WHO’s report says.

Of course, not mentioned in this report is the fact that anyone who ignored these draconian measures faced jail terms of up to 10 years. This was so if the consequences were not considered very serious. Otherwise, the person would actually face “life sentence or death”. As noted by Dr Mareike Ohlberg from the Berlin-based Mercator Institute for China Studies [Ed: unrelated to this website], the WHO “preached confidence in the Chinese government, which does not want to make transparent how the population suffered”.

If you go today to the WHO’s website for guidance, it still says that “masks may provide protection to the wearers and those around them”, even though there is a lot of data demonstrating that this is not true and that it can harm people. Some social media outlets still default on the WHO’s positions regarding their policies, although the WHO got almost everything wrong during the pandemic. For example, YouTube explicitly says in its policies that it doesn’t allow content that “contradicts … the World Health Organization’s guidance about specific health conditions and substances”.

By promoting these guidelines, the WHO violated, without providing any justification other than the example of China, its own constitution which defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”. For example, its vaccination campaign completely ignored accumulated safety concerns about the scale of adverse reactions, on the one hand, and diminishing efficacy after successive doses, on the other. According to Professor Thakur:

"Health includes mental health and well-being and is highly dependent on a robust economy, yet the WHO-backed package of measures to fight Covid have been damaging to health, children’s immunization programs in developing countries, mental health, food security, economies, poverty reduction, educational, and social well-being of peoples. Their worst effect was grievous assaults on human rights, civil liberties, individual autonomy, and bodily autonomy”.

Concluding remarks

The amendments to the International Health Regulations and the new Pandemic Agreement are due to be voted in the week of 27 May at the 77th World Health Assembly. These reforms would confer extraordinary powers on the WHO, greatly strengthening its core capabilities on public health surveillance, monitoring, reporting, notification, verification, and response. “They amount to a WHO power grab at the behest of Big Pharma and Big Donors”, says Ramesh Thakur, former Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations. “If adopted”, he continues:

“they will consolidate the gains of those who have benefitted from Covid-19, concentrating private wealth, increasing national debts, and decelerating poverty reduction/ expand the international health bureaucracy under WHO; shift the centre of gravity from common endemic diseases to relatively rare pandemic outbreaks; create a self-perpetuating global biopharmaceutical complex; shift the locus of health policy authority, decision making, and resources from the state to an enlarged corps of international technocrats, creating and empowering an international analogue of the administrative state that has already thinned national democracies. It will create a perverse incentive: the rise of an international bureaucracy whose defining purpose, existence, powers, and budgets will depend on outbreaks of pandemics, the more the better”.

Above all, the global health policies proposed by the WHO would have disastrous consequences for the enjoyment of fundamental human rights, among them the right to bodily autonomy and the right to safe and effective medical treatment. The health recommendations provided by WHO during the pandemic era were a primary instigator of gross violations of human rights over the last four years, both in Australia and overseas.

Fortunately, Australia and all the other member states still have the authority to reject these dangerous proposals.

The Australian government has the moral (and legal) obligation to hear the valid concerns from the Australian people and, in so doing, reject these treaty reforms in their entirety. The drafts of these documents propose wide-ranging changes that would make the public health responses of the last four years look tame. Of course, this horrible idea could only be invented by an organisation having notorious and strong links to the Chinese Communist Party and the pharmaceutical companies, which began to perceive the growing opposition against mandatory vaccination.

Above all, Australians should not allow their Government to sign any treaty or convention that strengthens the powers of the WHO. Countries like Australia still have the authority to reject the proposed amendments to the International Health Regulations and the new WHO Pandemic Treaty.

If any of these instruments are signed by the bureaucrats acting on behalf of the Australian Government, and legislation is enacted to give them the force of law in Australia, this will amount to a major betrayal of our people and Australia as we know it will cease to exist.

We either stand for our basic rights and freedoms or risk losing everything very soon. 

Is the World Health Organization really a danger to political freedoms? Sound off in the comments box below!  

Professor Augusto Zimmermann PhD, LLB, LLM, CIArb, DipEd is a former Law Reform Commissioner with the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia. He is also Head of Law at Sheridan Institute of Higher Education, in Perth, Western Australia, and a former Associate Dean (Research) at Murdoch University, School of Law. During his time at Murdoch, Professor Zimmermann was awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research, in 2012.

Image credits: Bigstock


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  • Janet Grevillea
    It is good that Mercator is drawing our attention to this move by the WHO to take to itself unprecedented powers. Having read a lot about the issue and remaining somewhat confused about the contradictory points of view expressed in various places, I watched the Press Conference run by the Aligned Council of Australia.

    The four men who spoke are all very well informed, having held leading positions in WHO (Dr David Bell), the United Nations (Professor Ramesh Thakur), law (Professor Augusto Zimmerman) and medicine (Professor Ian Brighthope). They all spoke clearly and in language we can all understand.

    The quote from Professor Thakur sums up the possibility I believe we must reject, and that we must convince our government to reject: “[t]he set of changes to the architecture of global health governance will effectively change the WHO from a technical advisory organisation offering recommendations, into a supranational public health authority telling governments what to do”.
  • Augusto Zimmermann
    published this page in The Latest 2024-05-20 10:17:03 +1000