Date: September 8, 2021 - September 9, 2021
Organized by O’Neill Institute

The Objective: To leverage the expertise at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), the Georgetown Global Health Initiative, and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (together the Partners) toward support of discussions and analyses surrounding the consideration and development of a WHO convention, agreement or other international instrument on pandemic preparedness and response. (The Fogarty International Center has expressed interest in providing scientific expertise and perspectives to help inform discussions.) This expertise will take two primary forms: an omnibus analysis of major issues now under consideration by WHA working groups and a series of analyses of individual, discrete convention matters in high-impact medical and public health journals.

The Program: Out of an Expert Convening and global consultation, the Partners will produce a white paper with analyses and findings summarized intended to inform policymakers in advance of the WHA special session in November along with a set of papers for publication in high-impact journals analyzing discrete issues now under consideration for inclusion in a new instrument. Following the publication and dissemination of the report, based on outcomes of the special session in November, members of the group could serve an on-going technical advisory function, coordinated and staffed by the WHO Collaborating Center for National and Global Health Law.

Expert Convening: The primary technical meeting, to be held in Washington DC in early September, will focus on two major themes: 1) what were the inadequacies and limitations of current international mechanisms and 2) which legal alternatives exist to the current system and what substantive content could a new legal instrument address?