Considerations for challenging the WHO in 2024

Meryl Nass, MD

1.  Do the WHO documents cede sovereignty for management of health to the WHO?

The WHO Director-General and government officials in at least the US, UK and Australia (I have hyperlinked to videos of their hearings) have informed our elected officials that there is no transfer of sovereignty to the WHO in either the newest proposed pandemic treaty draft or proposed International Health Regulation (IHR) amendmentsThey are lying.

One of the arguments that has been used to claim nations retain full sovereignty is citing a passage from the IHR (2005) which states:

Article 3 (4), page 10.

“States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, the sovereign right to legislate and to implement legislation in pursuance of their health policies. In doing so they should uphold the purpose of these Regulations.”

IHR 2005

However, the proposed amendments and proposed drafts of a pandemic treaty also require that member states pass and enforce enabling domestic legislation to enact the WHO’s new authorities into domestic law.  Isn’t this a clear ceding of sovereignty to the WHO?

What is the evidence they are taking sovereignty away?  For that answer I refer you to the excellent David Bell and Van Dinh article from early December titled, “Why Does the WHO Make False Claims Regarding Proposals to Seize States’ Sovereignty?” and the December 18, 2023 UK Parliamentary discussion and Q and A with the Health Minister.  Parliamentarians discuss how sovereignty will be lost, despite the minister’s assertions otherwise.

2.  What rights and freedoms are the 2 documents taking from nation states? (Below includes items from both the proposed Amendments and Treaty:)

  • They removed the words “human rights, dignity and freedom of persons” from the draft IHR amendments—this language is still present in the IHR (2005)
  • They demand nations perform surveillance of citizens’ online footprint and censor information that contradicts the WHO
  • They demand nations swab people, animals and environments to find new pandemic pathogens, then share them with the WHO and globally
  • They demand the right to impose lockdowns, close borders, require vaccine passports, masks, etc.
  • They want everyone’s medical records shared
  • They want the right to move medical supplies from one country to another, to commandeer supplies during a declared PHEIC
  • They want the right to tell us what medications we can have, and which we are not allowed to have; therefore, the WHO will become your doctor
  • They will create a compliance committee, a Conference of Parties and a new WHO Secretariat to carry out the pandemic work.  These new organizations will make their own rules, enforce compliance, and decide how much this will cost the members.  In essence, this is giving a blank check to the WHO for whatever it wants to do and charge in future.
  • Nations are required to enact domestic legislation to carry out the measures in the Treaty.

3.  How are we fighting back?  Here are some examples:

2.  Pages 3-4 of the IHR (2005).  

“4. FURTHER DECIDES that, for the purposes of paragraph 1 of Article 14 of the International Health Regulations (2005), the other competent intergovernmental organizations or international bodies with which WHO is expected to cooperate and coordinate its activities, as appropriate, include the following: United Nations, International Labour Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization, International Atomic Energy Agency, International Civil Aviation Organization, International Maritime Organization, International Committee of the Red Cross, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, International Air Transport Association, International Shipping Federation, and Office International des Epizooties;

Article 14.  Cooperation of WHO with intergovernmental organizations and international bodies

“1. WHO shall cooperate and coordinate its activities, as appropriate, with other competent intergovernmental organizations or international bodies in the implementation of these Regulations, including through the conclusion of agreements and other similar arrangements.”

  • However, article 57 (3) on page 35 says, “Without prejudice to their obligations under these Regulations, States Parties that are members of a regional economic integration organization shall apply in their mutual relations the common rules in force in that regional economic integration organization.” 
  • We need lawyers to determine if this gives the WHO the authority to negotiate with the EU.  (Someone is looking into this, and we asked the EU and WHO for their answer as well.)
  • We also need lawyers to learn how individual nations that are members of the EU are involved in negotiations on these documents.  What are the roles and responsibilities of nation state negotiators vs EU negotiators?
  • A WHO webpage acknowledges that WHO can bring in other players like BMGF to the discussions on the pandemic treaty.  Can this be challenged?    

                        The final paragraph:

“Through the decision, the World Health Assembly also requested the WHO Director-General to convene the INB meetings and support its work, including by facilitating the participation of other United Nations system bodies, non-state actors, and other relevant stakeholders in the process to the extent decided by the INB.”

  • 12 MEPs challenged the May 2022 “vote” of the full World Health Assembly and asked the WHO for evidence it occurred on November 28—to my knowledge they have received no response.  Furthermore, the UK Health Minister stated on December 18 that all previous IHR amendments have been accomplished by consensus.  This appears to be evidence that no actual vote was taken. Yet the WHO Constitution calls for votes with a 2/3 majority for important questions.  There are 3 issues here: 

a) That only Committee A actually used the ‘consensus’ procedure, not the full WHA, regarding the May 2022 amendments; the full WHA was merely informed of the result.

b) Is the consensus procedure valid; even though much business is accomplished at WHO through committees and such procedures, are they valid?

c) Important questions are supposed to require a 2/3 vote of the WHA.  Was there a determination that the May 2022 amendments were not important questions?

  • The EMA has stated that the indication (specified use) of the COVID vaccines is not to prevent spread, implying that it is indicated to reduce disease severity.  Therefore, isn’t it true that a vaccine that does not prevent spread cannot be recommended or mandated according to the current IHR, in which the scope of the WHO response is limited to “ways that are commensurate with and restricted to public health risks?”

Article.  2 Purpose and scope (page 10)

The purpose and scope of these Regulations are to prevent, protect against, control and provide a public health response to the international spread of disease in ways that are commensurate with and restricted to public health risks, and which avoid unnecessary interference with international traffic and trade.

  • According to the Constitutions of many nations, the ceding of sovereignty, or another grant of power to the WHO requires a vote of Parliament.  Yet none has taken place to approve the earlier IHRs and none are anticipated for the IHR amendments coming up for a vote in May 2024.  Members of the Estonian parliament and members of other parliaments have written to the WHO, challenging the validity of the IHR approval process on this basis.  We have collected some of their letters.  Will your parliamentarians do the same?
  • The IHR (2005) states clearly in article 55 that new amendments must be provided to the member states at least 4 months in advance of a vote.  Yet the WHO’s principle legal officer, Steven Solomon, and the UK Minister of Health have individually said that the working group will continue negotiating the Amendments until a May 2024 vote.  The justification to avoid providing them earlier is that 307 proposed amendments were made public in late 2022, and the work done over the past year on them has not turned them into new and different amendments.  Under what legal authority does the WHO plan to withhold the final version of the amendments from the member states until after the four months’ deadline has passed, during which nations must have the time to fully evaluate the proposed amendments? The argument we need attorneys to make is that what comes up in May is substantially different than what was proposed in September 2022, given almost continuous revisions, meetings and negotiations over many months, and the new version of the amendments must be produced 4 months in advance of a vote.  See Screenshot below of Article 55.
  • The Director-General of the WHO is obliged to consider various things before issuing any recommendations according to the current IHR (2005).  Where is the evidence he has done so?  If he failed to do so for COVID, why should he be given even greater power to limit our freedoms, without even a risk-benefit analysis in future?

Article 17 Criteria for recommendations

When issuing, modifying or terminating temporary or standing recommendations, the Director-General shall consider:

(a) the views of the States Parties directly concerned;

(b) the advice of the Emergency Committee or the Review Committee, as the case may be;

(c) scientific principles as well as available scientific evidence and information;

(d) health measures that, on the basis of a risk assessment appropriate to the circumstances, are not more restrictive of international traffic and trade and are not more intrusive to persons than reasonably available alternatives that would achieve the appropriate level of health protection;

(e) relevant international standards and instruments;

(f) activities undertaken by other relevant intergovernmental organizations and international bodies; and

(g) other appropriate and specific information relevant to the event.

With respect to temporary recommendations, the consideration by the Director-General of subparagraphs (e) and (f) of this Article may be subject to limitations imposed by urgent circumstances.

  • The WHO promised to create an “Independent Panel” to evaluate its management of the COVID pandemic in July 2020.  The panel was created but it never fulfilled this mission.  Instead it talked about future plansThus, there has been no evaluation of the WHO’s performance during COVID.  Its performance during the 2009 swine flu pandemic and the 2014 and 2018 Ebola epidemics has been sharply criticized.  Hundreds of allegations of sexual abuse of clients by staff were investigated in the past year alone.  Why would we give any additional authority to the WHO?
  • Article 45 of the IHR (2005) guarantees confidentiality of medical records.  Why is this removed in the proposed IHR amendments?
  • We need to determine if national laws and Constitutions give negotiators from each nation the authority to negotiate away sovereignty on health issues. How much leeway is given to the individuals who will be responsible for deciding their countries’ position on the treaty and amendments?  The Amendments require no ratification process and will come into force automatically for each of the 196 members of the IHR unless they are specifically rejected or reserved against within a prescribed time period.
  • The WHO constitution says it is an advisory body that provides recommendations and assistance to nations when requested. Where in the WHO constitution does it allow the organization to transform itself from an advisory body to a governing body that can give orders to member states that must be obeyed?  Nowhere.  Can lawyers explore whether such a transformation is allowed by the WHO’s enabling document, its Constitution?

4.  Can we get traction on the lies being told about these two documents?

Do you think this will help us convince our lawmakers to fight against them?

Are there individual penalties that might be applied to government officials who cede our sovereignty to an international agency?

5.  What kinds of documents will best help convince the public of what is going on?  Posters?  Tweets?  Interviews?