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Commission welcomes agreement on stronger global health security rules




The European Commission has welcomed the agreement on the revised International Health Regulations, which was reached at the World Health Assembly in Geneva on June 1st. The World Health Assembly brought together over 190 countries, including all EU Member States, who together adopted an ambitious package of amendments to the International Health Regulations, following two years of intense negotiations.

The International Health Regulations are a legally-binding set of international rules to manage global health crises, which was agreed almost 20 years ago. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the urgent need to reinforce this framework for modern realities. Today's agreement marks a significant advance in how countries around the world work together to prepare for and respond to major health threats.

Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said she warmly welcomed the agreement, which delivers on one of the key goals in the EU’s Global Health Strategy and significantly strengthens the external dimension of the European Health Union. “This is a signal that international solidarity and collaboration on important health issues remains strong, she said.

“As we have all seen over the past years, the major health challenges that we face today do not respect borders, and multilateral solutions are the only way to confront them. We must build on today’s successful outcome and continue to strengthen the global health architecture, in order to protect peoples worldwide”.

By strengthening the rules, the aim is to improve the management of public health emergencies of international concern and to better protect all citizens from serious cross- border health threats – a key priority of the EU's Global Health Strategy. The revised IHR will help countries to prevent and respond to acute public health risks and improve the global health security architecture.

The Commission has also welcomed the agreement by the World Health Assembly to continue negotiations on the Pandemic Agreement with the goal of reaching consensus by the next World Health Assembly in May 2025. The EU remains committed to the negotiations, which will build on the tangible progress made over the last two years, and will continue working with all partners and stakeholders with a view to creating a stronger, more resilient and more equitable global health architecture for the future, where decisions are driven by states which are party to the agreement.


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