Opening Plenary Statement at the World Health Organization (WHO)
Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) Fifth Meeting (Resumed)
As Delivered by Ambassador Pamela Hamamoto, Lead U.S. Negotiator for the Pandemic Accord
Geneva, Switzerland and Virtual
Good morning co-Chairs, Vice Chairs, and Member State colleagues. I want to start by thanking the Bureau and the Secretariat for the Bureau’s Text, which is an important step forward in our work together.
The United States remains committed to this process and to working together to find consensus within our agreed upon timeline. We are hopeful that our conversations this week will be an important step in helping us all move forward with an ambitious and impactful text.
We are grateful to all the committed stakeholders working hard to support these negotiations, both at home in the U.S. and around the world.
We are pleased that the Bureau’s Text was shared publicly, and we look forward to hearing stakeholder input today to continue to inform our thinking as well as our discussions throughout the week.
We appreciate the Bureau’s attempts at incorporating many of the thoughtful – and in some places divergent – proposals in this draft, and in laying out options for consideration.
Like many here, we submitted text proposals to the Zero Draft and we welcome the opportunity to further elaborate on them, and to learn more about the proposals others have put forward.
For these negotiations to be successful, it is important that we work together on language that can find consensus and that we embrace our shared responsibility — that all Member States have access to a broad set of benefits to strengthen pandemic PPR in order to bring about a safer world.
We also appreciate the Bureau’s proposal for focused, informal work between the June and July meetings, and we look forward to discussing these sessions later this week.
Similar to proposals we have made in the past, we are interested in exploring the best way for Member States to facilitate these sessions and take more ownership in this Member State-driven process, recognizing the importance of ensuring small delegations and others are not disadvantaged in so doing.
With that in mind, we think it’s critical that if we agree to informal intersessional work, any results from that work must be brought back to the next formal meeting of INB for full review and agreement by all Member States.
We also want to emphasize again how important it is to clarify the provisions that best fit in the Pandemic Accord and those that are more appropriate for the IHR, we look forward to the joint plenary sessions planned for July as a key opportunity to align both instruments.
In closing, this week is an opportunity to make important progress on some of the most challenging and impactful issues facing us, and we are looking forward to thoughtful, focused and collaborative engagement this week with all of you.