A diplomatic breakthrough has seen key member states of the World Health Organisation agree to start discussing the possibility of an International Treaty for pandemic management.
It is the first critical step in creating a global collaboration to prepare for future pandemics.
Britain, the European Union and some 70 other countries have been pushing for a Pandemic Treaty but countries including the United States, Brazil, India have been holding back, preferring to channel all resources to their current pandemic response.
In a welcome change of direction, the United States and some other key member states have recently aligned with the idea of a pandemic treaty. The World Health Organisation is holding a rare special meeting this week to commence discussions.
What goals and obligations the treaty will encompass is still speculation but this week’s special meeting is the start of a possible global agreement on how to prevent and respond to pandemics of the future.