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Hastings Center Report

Making the World Safer and Fairer in Pandemics

Abstract: Global health has long been characterized by injustice, with certain populations marginalized and made vulnerable by social, economic, and health disparities within and among countries. The pandemic only amplified inequalities. In response to it, the World Health Organization and the United Nations have embarked on transformative normative and financial reforms that could reimagine pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response (PPPR). These reforms include a new strategy to sustainably finance the WHO, a UN political declaration on PPPR, a fundamental revision to the International Health Regulations, and negotiation of a new, legally binding pandemic agreement (popularly called the “Pandemic Treaty”). We revisit the cavernous shortcomings of the global Covid-19 response, explain potentially transformative legal reforms and the ethical values that underpin them, and propose actionable solutions to advance both health and justice.

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