What Is the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB)?


Dec 13, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on human lives, economies, and societies. To avoid a repeat of the past, the international community should collaborate to be much better prepared and aligned in responding to possible future pandemic threats.

In December 2021, the World Health Assembly Special Session (WHASS) took place in Geneva, Switzerland. This is only the second time in the history of the World Health Organization (WHO) that the Health Assembly (WHA) has met for a second time in the same year. The WHA established an Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) to draft and negotiate a convention, agreement, or other international instrument under the Constitution of the WHO to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness and response. The INB’s work is based on the principles of inclusiveness, transparency, efficiency, Member State leadership and consensus.

The INB should hold meetings to deliver a progress report to the 76th WHA in 2023, with the aim to adopt the instrument by 2024. In the decision establishing the INB, the WHA also requested the WHO Director-General to convene the INB meetings and support its work, including by holding public hearings to inform its deliberations. The United Nations system bodies, non-state actors, and other relevant stakeholders can participate in the process to the extent decided by the INB.

Together with other non-state actors, including the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW), the International Hospital Federation (IHF), and the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA), the WFPHA provided several statements during the INB public hearing.