Dr. Suerie Moon, Geneva Graduate Institute: “Treaties will not solve every problem.”

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Dr. Suerie Moon, Co-Director of the Global Health Center and Professor of Practice, International Relations and Political Science, walks us through the status of the pandemic accord negotiations (underway for two years), the recently released new draft, what lies ahead in the next round of deliberations, and how that diplomatic process relates to parallel negotiations underway over reform of the International Health Regulations (IHR). The draft treaty speaks to four core issue sets: One Health; access and benefits sharing (ABR); countermeasures (including intellectual property, R&D, technology transfer); and financing (including “common but differentiated responsibilities”). Today, there is “lots of space to bridge.” While the negotiations are not likely to cross the finish line in May 2024, that does not necessarily signal failure. “More time is needed.” A breakthrough in a few areas by May 2024 could sustain progress. The U.S. negotiating role remains “incredibly important.” Remarkably, in these polarized and difficult geopolitical times, these dual talks have not yet been torn apart. The focus remains on health, with a newfound belief in equity as a guiding norm.