G20 countries commit to WHO-facilitated global health passports 

Mike Campbell

November 17, 2022

On behalf of G20 countries, including Canada, the White House declared support for the World Health Organization (WHO) to facilitate universal vaccine passports.  

G20 countries commit to WHO-facilitated global health passports
G20 countries commit to WHO-facilitated global health passports.

“We acknowledge the importance of shared technical standards and verification methods, under the framework of the (International Health Regulations, 2005), to facilitate seamless international travel, interoperability, and recognizing digital solutions and non-digital solutions, including proof of vaccinations,” the White House stated[Emphasis added]

The WHO began advocating for global guidelines for managing health emergencies in its 2005 International Health Regulations.

The G20 declaration also urged the importance of a “One Health” approach. It stated support for the “WHO mRNA Vaccine Technology Transfer hub” and called for all countries to share technology on mutually agreed terms. 

Earlier this week, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the WHO will be the “custodians” of the so-called International Health Regulations. He said it’s important to “put in place the measures to make the world safer.”

Ghebreyesus said climate change, deforestation and urbanization will worsen future pandemics “unless we take concerted and coordinated action as one global community.”

Ghebreyesus also praised the Member States, which includes G20 countries, which affirmed commitment to the WHO’s International Health Regulations. While the WHO’s Pandemic Fund is vital, he said nations would maintain sovereignty. 

“Crucially, countries must be in the driver’s seat,” Ghebreyesus said. “The fund’s primary aim must be to support national plans.”

“As the custodian of the (International Health Regulations), WHO looks forward to playing its central coordinating role as Chair of the Technical Advisory Panel, and in providing technical leadership and guidance to the board.” 

On Wednesday, Canada committed $50 million towards the WHO’s Pandemic Fund, which includes funding for “emergency communications and management.” 

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