Advocacy Update: Top Things to Know This Week

February 27, 2023

HHS To Hold Listening Session On Pandemic Accord on March 15

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Global Affairs will hold a public listening session on Wednesday, March 15, 2023, from 12:00 – 2:00 pm ET to hear from the public on potential areas that could be included in a pandemic accord to promote pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response. To RSVP, registrants must include their full name and organization, if any, and indicate whether they are registering as a listen-only attendee or as a speaker participant to Persons seeking to attend or speak at the listening session must register by March 6, 2023.

Upcoming Relevant Hearings

March 1 at 10:00 am, ET: Oversight Hearing – United Nations.

March 8 at 11:30 am, ET: Member Day Hearing for FY2024 Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS) Appropriations

INB4 Kicks Off To Negotiate A Pandemic Accord

The fourth meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB4) to negotiate a new pandemic instrument kicks off on Monday, February 27 with the zero draft serving as the basis of discussions. During the first day of the session, it was confirmed that non-State actors (NSAs) in official relations with the World Health Organization (WHO) are able to join the opening and closing sessions of INB4, but NSAs will unfortunately not be allowed to join drafting negotiations with Member States. GHC, other NSAs, and members of civil society are exploring how to continue to influence negotiations of the pandemic instrument as substantive negotiations move forward. The goal is for a new instrument to be ready for adoption at the World Health Assembly in 2024. This is one part of a larger issue of shrinking space for civil society in WHO processes that GHC continues to raise concerns around. Ahead of INB4, GHC submitted written inputs to the INB Bureau and U.S. delegation on the zero draft under consideration. All documentation for INB4 can be found here

World Bank Group President David Malpass To Resign; President Biden Nominates Former Mastercard CEO, Ajay Banga to Lead World Group Bank

On February 15, World Bank Group President David Malpass announced his intention to step down from his position by the end of the Bank Group’s fiscal year on June 30, nearly one year before his term is up. On February 23, President Biden announced that the United States is nominating Ajay Banga to be the new President of the World Bank Group.

GPMB Releases New Report Stating The World Remains Unprepared For A Pandemic

On February 22, the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB) launched ‘A Manifesto for Preparedness: Three Tests of Global Reforms’ which highlights that, despite hard lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, the world remains unprepared for a global health crisis, without the resources, leadership, and coordination that is needed. The manifesto also lays out three core tests of the fundamental requirements for global preparedness: 

  1. Are reforms powered to address the catastrophic threat of pandemics?
  2. Are reforms designed to deliver equity in access and outcomes, and to ensure coherence within the ecosystem of PPPR?
  3. Are monitoring and accountability embedded in the reforms? 

Cindy McCain Will Reportedly Serve As The New Executive Director Of The World Food Programme

Permanent Representative of the U.S. Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome Cindy McCain has reportedly been chosen to lead the World Food Programme (WFP) over the next five years, replacing David Beasley when he steps down in April. A formal announcement is expected this week.