New Zealand is involved in a process at the World Health Organization to draft and negotiate an international convention, agreement or other legal instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response. We’re interested in your views to inform how New Zealand engages in this process.
In November 2021, New Zealand and other World Health Organization (WHO) Member States agreed to establish an Intergovernmental Negotiating Body to draft and negotiate a WHO convention, agreement or other international instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response (PPPR).
A new pandemic convention or treaty was a key recommendation of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response. New Zealand sees this as an important step towards preparing the world for future health emergencies and ensuring that a global health crisis of this magnitude does not occur again. Governments are working towards an outcome by the 77th World Health Assembly in 2024.
At this stage, Member States have submitted their initial views on the “substantive elements” to be included in the instrument. New Zealand’s submission, taking into account our key domestic, Pacific regional, and global health security interests, is available below (Doc A). In writing this submission, officials were guided by Ministerial advice from June 2021 (Doc B) and November 2021 (Doc C).
For updates on the negotiations, you can check the WHO website(external link).
Have your say on a new instrument
As we move forward in the negotiation process, we’re interested in what New Zealanders want to see in a new international pandemic prevention, preparedness and response instrument. Your views will help inform our overall contribution as we participate in negotiations.
In July 2022 we sought responses from New Zealanders on the following questions:
- How do you think this new instrument will help prepare the world for future health emergencies, and ensure a global health crisis of this nature does not occur again?
- What issues do you think need to be prioritised?
- Is there any information you would like to provide that would help to develop our position on a new instrument on PPPR?
Public submissions for this round of feedback closed on 11 August 2022.
How to send in your views
Mail: Pandemic Instrument Coordinator, Legal Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Private Bag 18-901, Wellington
What we do with your views
As part of ongoing consultations, the views of New Zealanders are collated and reported to Ministers. Officials take those views into account when setting their negotiating positions and seeking mandates from Ministers.
Please be aware that all responses may be subject to release under the Official Information Act 1982. No personal or identifiable information will be released as part of a response.
Will there be other opportunities to provide feedback?
Though an initial round of public submissions concluded on 11 August 2022, feedback may be submitted at any time during the negotiations.
As the negotiation process evolves, and more information becomes available on the structure and content of the instrument, there will be additional opportunities to provide feedback.
If this process results in a treaty, how can I provide feedback?
Should the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body recommend a legally binding international instrument such as a treaty, this would require a process of Cabinet and Parliamentary scrutiny. This would include a Select Committee process, which may provide an opportunity for the public to make submissions on the treaty.
A Select Committee may choose to invite submissions as part of an international treaty examination, but it is not always the case that they will do so. Chapter 42 of Parliamentary Practice in New Zealand(external link) (which is available on the Parliament website) explains that because of the shorter time frame for international treaty examinations than legislation, a call for submissions happens exceptionally, rather than routinely.