Advocacy Update: Top Things to Know This Week

July 27, 2022

Intergovernmental Negotiating Body agrees pandemic instrument should be legally binding

The Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) met on July 18-21 to negotiate a WHO convention, agreement, or other international instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response. At the meeting, WHO Member States discussed the working draft and agreed that the future pandemic instrument should be legally binding, and should contain both legally binding and non-legally binding elements. Stay tuned for GHC’s update after INB’s next round of public meetings in September.

U.S. and Japan co-host COVID-19 Global Action Plan Foreign Ministerial meeting

On July 19, Secretary Antony Blinken co-hosted a virtual COVID-19 Global Action Plan (GAP) Foreign Ministerial Meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa to outline the necessary steps to end the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen global health security. Read the joint statement coming out of that meeting. 

Senate appropriators to release FY23 bills before August recess; House will not vote on remaining FY23 bills

Senate appropriators plan to release their fiscal year (FY) 2023 spending bills this week, ahead of the August recess. These bills have had little input from Senate Republicans and negotiations have stalled between House and Senate leaders on topline spending levels for FY23. 

In the House, the State and Foreign Operations (SFOPS) bill, along with the remaining FY23 bills will not be voted on this week. A Continuing Resolution will be needed to fund the government following the end of the fiscal year on September 30.

White House hosts summit on the future of COVID-19 vaccines

On July 26, the White House hosted a summit with scientists, public health experts, and vaccine manufacturers to discuss new technologies and outline a path toward next-generation COVID-19 vaccines. This summit takes place within the context of ongoing discussions on increasing manufacturing capacity in low- and middle-income countries as part of future pandemic preparedness and response efforts. A recap of the summit can be viewed here

President Biden announces US-Africa summit for mid-December

The US-Africa Leaders Summit, scheduled for December 13-15, will provide an important opportunity for the U.S. to engage with leaders from African governments, civil society, the private sector, and the African diaspora to help strengthen U.S.-Africa relations. Agenda items include mitigating the impact of COVID-19 and future pandemics, strengthening global health systems, promoting food security, and responding to the climate crisis. 

WHO releases first-ever report on the pipeline of vaccines for AMR-related infections 

The new report highlights 61 vaccine candidates related to antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which includes several that are in late stages of development; however, most will not be available anytime soon. With nearly five million deaths per year attributed to resistant bacterial infections and over one million deaths directly linked to AMR, WHO has called on countries to accelerate trials for AMR-related vaccines in late-stage development and maximize the use of existing vaccines.