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Disease Control

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 2464, tabled on 16 May 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish his Department's negotiating position on a new convention, agreement, or other international instrument under the auspices of the World Health Organisation on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response; and if he will make an (a) oral and (b) written statement.

Answered on

19 May 2022

The United Kingdom supports a new international instrument to strengthen pandemic prevention and preparedness. The purpose of the instrument is to strengthen global cooperation in order to better protect the UK from the health, social and economic impacts of pandemics. We want to agree UK priority areas such as improving transparency, timely data sharing and supporting equitable access to vaccines and treatments.

We are clear that the UK would not sign up to any instrument that compromises the UK’s sovereignty. That includes any instrument which compromises the UK’s ability to take domestic decisions on national restrictions or other measures. On the contrary, our support for a new pandemic instrument is intended to strengthen our ability to prevent, detect and respond to future health threats without the restrictions seen during the COVID-19 pandemic. The UK has led from the front on learning to live with COVID-19 and will continue to do so at the forthcoming G7 and World Health Assembly.

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Interests declared
The Member has declared that they have interests which may be relevant to the subject matter of this question.