The Pandemic Treaty

The Pandemic Treaty


In order to address the systematic failures during COVID-19 crisis, a pandemic treaty by 25 heads of government and international agencies is on the agenda as a significant development in global health governance.

GS-02 (
Important International Institutions, Health)

Facts for prelims:

  • Disease X:
    • It was introduced by the World Health Organization (WHO).
    • Disease X is a term used to represent a hypothetical, unknown, or unexpected infectious disease that could potentially cause a future epidemic or pandemic.

Dimensions of the Article:

  • The Treaty and Its Importance
  • Advantages
  • Challenges and Suggestions
  • Solutions

The Treaty and Its Importance:

  • The Pandemic treaty aims to build global defenses against pandemics and prioritize equity in pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response efforts.
  • The treaty seeks to solve the shortcomings (insufficient preparedness and lack of coordination at both national and international levels) observed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • It is officially referred to as the Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response Accord.
  • The draft text contains various provisions addressing pathogen surveillance, healthcare capacity, supply chain management, technology transfer for medical product production, and intellectual property rights waivers.


  • It will ensure a robust healthcare system for future threats.
  • It guarantees early detection and response to outbreaks at the earliest.
  • Faster development and wider distribution of vaccines and other medical countermeasures.


  • Establishing a global system for sharing pathogen data particularly between developed and developing nations.
    • The proposed WHO Pathogen Access and Benefit-Sharing (PABS) System aims to incentivize data sharing by obligating manufacturers to provide a percentage of products free of charge or at not-for-profit prices in exchange for access to genetic sequence data.
  • Ensuring accountability and enforcement, crucial for coordinating pandemic response efforts.
  • Absence of robust enforcement mechanisms that weakens the efficacy of the Agreement.
  • Securing sufficient funding for its implementation.


  • Establishment of a decision-making body like the UNFCCC model ensures equitable representation and decision-making.
  • Proposals requiring firms to waive or reduce intellectual property royalties for publicly financed products.

Way Forward:

  • The Pandemic Agreement represents a crucial step towards rebuilding trust and fostering international collaboration in confronting the looming threat of future pandemics, acknowledging the interdependence of nations in safeguarding global health security.