What Is the Zero Draft of the WHO CA+?

February, 2023

In December 2021, at a special session of the World Health Assembly (WHASS), the WHO’s Member States decided to establish 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 (referred to as the WHO CA+).

In December 2022, at the third meeting of the INB, the Conceptual Zero Draft (CZD) of the WHO CA+, including its structure, was considered. It was developed by the Bureau of the INB. The CZD was presented as a bridge between the working draft and the future Zero Draft (ZD) of the WHO CA+. It was not an official / formal draft of the WHO CA+.

During its third meeting, the INB agreed that the Bureau, with support from the WHO Secretariat, would prepare the ZD, based on the CZD and input received during the third meeting of the INB, with legal provisions, for consideration by the INB at its fourth meeting, and as a proposed basis for commencing negotiations at the fourth meeting of the INB in February 2023.

The ZD is structured with a preamble, vision, and then 8 chapters, with 38 articles in total across those chapters. Topics covered in the ZD include equity, strengthening and sustaining capacities, coordination, collaboration, and cooperation, and financing for pandemic prevention, preparedness, response and recovery of health systems, in addition to institutional arrangements.