24/05/2024 06:55 PM

PUTRAJAYA, May 24 (Bernama) -- Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad has stressed that Malaysia’s involvement in two international negotiation platforms aims to safeguard the nation's public health interests.

He was referring to the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) for crafting an international instrument known as the Pandemic Treaty, and the Working Group on Amendments to the International Health Regulations (WGIHR) for making targeted revisions to the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005).

In a statement today, Dr Dzulkefly said the international negotiations for developing instruments must adhere to three main principles: Sovereignty, ensuring that national sovereignty and the powers of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the rulers remain intact.

Another critical principle is Equity, wherein developed nations must aid developing countries to ensure fair and equitable distribution of resources, such as pandemic-related health products, without monopolising them.

The third, meanwhile, revolves around Funding, ensuring the establishment of health emergency financial mechanisms to address any potential pandemics without necessitating additional funds.

“This negotiation process involves various ministries and agencies with a strong commitment to ensure the protection of the nation and its people, and the preservation of the country's legal sovereignty.

“Malaysia consistently upholds fundamental principles such as sovereignty and autonomy, justice and solidarity, transparency and equity in every negotiation,” he said.

Dr Dzulkefly said if the finalised instrument prioritises the fundamental principles, particularly national sovereignty, the Health Ministry (MOH) will present it to the Cabinet for approval, enabling the government to sign it. 

“Until then, the government will not be bound by the instrument. MOH continually evaluates and monitors international negotiations for targeted amendments to the IHR 2005 and the development of this Pandemic Treaty,” he said. 

Dr Dzulkefly also announced that he would lead Malaysia's delegation to Geneva for the 77th World Health Assembly (WHA77) from May 27 to 31, which includes discussions on the progress of negotiations for Targeted Amendments to the IHR 2005 and for the development of the Pandemic Treaty.

“It must be noted that the World Health Organisation (WHO), in collaboration with all member countries, including Malaysia, has agreed to establish two international negotiation platforms.

“The establishment of these platforms aims to bolster preparedness, prevention, detection and response to health emergencies, particularly future pandemics, at the global level,” he said. 

Dr Dzulkefly said both negotiation sessions are entirely driven by member countries, with WHO serving solely as the secretariat, and all decisions subject to their (member countries) approval.

“The systematic and comprehensive negotiation methodologies of INB and WGIHR provide opportunities for each country to voice its perspectives and positions,” he said. 

He said WHO has stated that the amended IHR will not empower it to mandate any country to impose health measures, including restrictions or movement control orders (lockdowns) or any other actions.

“We will continue to update on the latest developments regarding both negotiations,” he said. 





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