Side Meetings


WHO Pandemic Agreement: Opportunities for Trade and Health?


  • 14:00 - 17:30 HRS. (BKK)

  • Venue : Lotus Suite 11

  • Contact Person : Cha-aim Pachanee,

  • National Commission on International Trade and Health Studies (NCITHS)
  • International Health Policy Program (IHPP)

The COVID-19 pandemic reveals the interconnection between the security of both trade and health. Trade and health therefore need to work in complementarities to maximise the mutual benefits in support of global trade, health security and sustainable development.  The new generation of international trade agreements is more complicated as they include non-traditional trade aspects.

At the same time, the new international health instrument in particular the WHO pandemic agreement being negotiated under the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) is likely to include trade aspects to better respond to future pandemics. However, geopolitics play a crucial role in the negotiation. As a result, the debate on a balance of trade and health benefits remains in the areas of the protection of the intellectual property rights and technology transfer to develop medical countermeasures and health products. With the efforts Member States have put in this INB process since last year, it is therefore an opportune time for the health sector to engage more with trade sector to ensure policy coherence between trade and health could be achieved to be better prepared for future pandemics.

This side meeting will discuss the WHO pandemic agreement negotiation as to what extent this agreement could be an opportunity for synergies between trade and health, and to discuss the implementation of the agreement towards achieving policy coherence.

1. To discuss the negotiation for the WHO pandemic agreement and its potential contributions to health and trade policy coherence

2. To discuss the role of geopolitics in advocating for trade and health policy coherence at the INB process

3. To provide recommendations to both health and trade sectors in negotiation of the WHO pandemic agreement