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  • Senator Sharon Keogan

WHO - International Pandemic Treaty

Whatever happened to debate and a frank exchange of views? My job to make sure that there is an open and public debate and if necessary a referendum on Ireland's support for this treaty.

I highlighted Minster Stephen Donnelly voicing of Ireland’s support for the World Health Organisation’s International Pandemic Treaty, a future legally and politically binding convention which would dictate signatories’ responses to future pandemics.

While we are all eager for the lessons learnt over the past 2 years to be consolidated and critically examined, it does not behove the Minister to speak for the people of Ireland in this matter, which would amount to a piecemeal signing away of sovereignty.

The Irish citizen has no say in the governance of the WHO, and so any handing over of power and responsibility to this body by our own directly elected representatives must be thoroughly scrutinised.

The treaty is built on the premise that, “whilst the technical expertise on how to govern and end a pandemic exists, the political will to do so is missing” — once again, the erroneous assertion that “The Science is Settled™”, and that it must be enforced absolutely.

This would leave no room for tailor-made pandemic responses, suited to individual countries in light of the myriad factors which affect such strategies — population spread,density and age, public health infrastructure, transport systems and topography.

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