In 2022, the World Health Assembly agreed to embark on a process to consider proposed amendments to the current International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR). The process is being led by the Member States of WHO through the Working Group on Amendments to the International Health Regulations (WGIHR) and builds on lessons learned from the various review panels that examined the functioning of the IHR and the global health security architecture during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fifth meeting of the Working Group on Amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005) (WGIHR) will be held from 2-6 October 2023.
The opening plenary session, which will start at 9:30 CEST on Monday, 2 October 2023, will be publicly webcast. As agreed by the WGIHR, it will be open to WHO Member States, Associate Members and regional economic integration organizations, as well as to relevant stakeholders. During this session, the WGIHR will take stock of progress on articles considered at previous meetings of the WGIHR and discussed at intersessional briefings and facilitated informal consultations, including:
- Article 4 – Responsible authorities;
- Article 5 – Surveillance (paragraph 4 and new proposals for paragraph 5);
- Articles 9 – Other reports;
- Article 10 – Verification;
- Article 18 – Recommendations;
- Articles 48 and 49 – the Emergency Committee; and
- Annex 2 – Decision instrument for the assessment and notification of events.
It will also invite Members States to provide updates on Article 8 (Japan) and Article 11, paragraph 5 (India and the United States of America). The WGIHR will further consider proposed amendments as noted in the report of WGIHR 4 (document A/WGIHR/4/5) in an open session, inviting relevant stakeholders to provide their views.
The WGIHR will then hold a drafting session to consider the proposed amendments with attendance limited to: WHO Member States, Associate Members, regional economic integration organizations; the Holy See, and Liechtenstein as States Parties to the IHR that are not Member States of WHO; and the Observer Delegation of Palestine.
The closing plenary of the WGIHR5, expected to be held on and afternoon of Friday, 6 October 2023, will be open and publicly webcast. During this session, the WGIHR will discuss a proposal on the way forward regarding intersessional activities and preparations for WGIHR6 on 7-8 December.