Each of the bullet points below cross reference to the relevant Article in the 300+ IHRs.
Online Survey Template:
I oppose the proposals for the reasons given in this feedback.
No convincing case for these reforms has been proposed. The proposals should be abandoned.
Bullet Points To Choose From:
Maintain my right to choose what is right for me and my family
The deletion of the number 1 Principle that ensures the “full respect for the dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons” in favour of “equity, inclusivity, coherence” – there is no place in any United Nations associated organisation to remove individual human rights and freedom of person. Article 3.
The “equity, inclusivity, coherence” constructs have no place in a charter about health. Choices with respect to health are individual rights that I do not consent to being given away. Article 3.
A global digital system of health certificates or vaccine passports as a condition for travelling across borders is inconsistent with the internationally respected human rights of health, freedom of movement, and New Zealand’s Bill of Rights. Articles 18, 23, 31, 35, 36. If you think this won’t happen, then you should be aware that work on an international health certificate is well advanced, for more see here, here, here and here.
The restriction on travel and implementation of vaccine passes is not ethical and will lead to discrimination. Articles 18, 23, 31, 35, 36.
The principle of informed consent and the right to access safe and effective medical products cannot be denied, nor can the right not to be subjected to medical or scientific experimentation without free consent, which is inconsistent with Article 7 of the ICCPR.
Lockdowns, forced medical examinations, mandatory vaccinations, and medicines deny me of my fundamental rights of choice and do not respect my dignity, my human rights or my fundamental freedoms of persons.
The amendments in Article 3.1 to prioritise ‘equity, inclusivity and coherence’, with the deletion of ‘respect for dignity, human rights…’ concerns me. Equity means ‘the quality of being fair and impartial’; Inclusivity means ‘the practice or policy of providing equal access to opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalised’; Coherence means ‘the quality of forming a unified whole’. What is suggested by the inclusion of these words is that decision makers will treat humanity as one mass organism. My rights to choose will not be respected and I will only be respected as long as I comply.
Our personal information and right to privacy
The New Zealand government can not agree to give away our personal medical information or allow the WHO to conduct surveillance over its people. Article 5 Surveillance and Article 11 Exchange of information.
The New Zealand government cannot agree to provide the WHO microbial, genomic sequencing data and/or genetic material and samples from its people. Articles 6 Notification and 7.2 Information sharing.
The WHO must remain an advisory body only
I do not consent to New Zealand giving away its power to make decisions about any public health emergency that occurs within its borders and with respect to its citizens. This will happen with the deletion of the words non-binding from recommendations. Article 1, 12, 42 and 43.
The WHO must remain an advisory body only. Articles 1, 12, 42 and 43.
The proposed amendments change the nature of the WHO’s role from being an advisor in public health emergencies to being a dictator that will issue directions and require countries to do as it says. Article 1 deletes the words, non-binding from the definition of “standing recommendation”. While Article 12 removes the right of a country to have a say in the determination.
A public health emergency of international concern needs to be an actual public health emergency, not a potential health emergency. Articles 2, 5.4, 5.5, 12.2, 12.6.
No one person or organisation, including the Director-General of the WHO or Emergency Committee, should have the sole power to determine whether a public health emergency is of international concern. There must be a consensus of unencumbered experts, and such decisions must include the State Party, in whose territory the event arises. Article 12 removes a State Party’s right to agree to the classification of the public health emergency by the WHO Director-General. See also Article 43.
It is for New Zealand to retain its decision-making power on whether health measures are suitable for its citizens. It is not for some unelected organisation to dictate what New Zealand must implement, it must be New Zealand’s decision to decide what is suitable and appropriate to New Zealand. See Article 42 related to Articles 15 and 16 (re Temporary and Standing Recommendations Respectively).
The WHO should have no power over health products or health technologies and know-how, including defining what a person or country is required to take, receive or use, or what they can’t take, receive or use. Article 1.
The WHO is acting outside its remit
The WHO can’t even be trusted to follow its own rules now, so how can we expect it to comply with the new ones it is making? The 300+ amendments were due for delivery 4 months before May 2024. They have not been supplied in accordance with Decision WHA75(9) and Article 55 IHRs. So how can the WHO be trusted to follow any of the rules that relate to its new powers it is establishing for itself?
The WHO is already a law unto its own, whereby we, as citizens of New Zealand, have no recourse to the WHO. It goes against our inherent constitution that the WHO has any say in New Zealand. Sovereignty means the authority of a state to govern itself (or another state). The 300+ amendments do raise concerns with respect to Member States ceding sovereignty to the WHO, namely:
– With the removal of key consultative steps with the State Party when an ‘event’ occurs, Articles 1, 12, 42 and 43. – The obligation for State Parties to accept or justify rejecting WHO’s offer of assistance underlines Member State sovereignty. Article 13.3. – The requirement for New Zealand to establish an entity that is responsible for the overall implementation of the Regulations (not only the health measures) is a matter of sovereignty. Article 4. – The amendment requiring on-site assessments. Article 13.4 and 5.
The proposed amendments go beyond what the WHO is entitled to do, Article 21 of the WHO Constitution limits the Health Assembly’s authority to only adopt regulations concerning:
“a) sanitary and quarantine requirements and other procedures designed to prevent the international spread of disease; (b) nomenclatures with respect to diseases, causes of death and public health practices; (c) standards with respect to diagnostic procedures for international use; (d) standards with respect to the safety, purity and potency of biological, pharmaceutical and similar products moving in international commerce; (e) advertising and labelling of biological, pharmaceutical and similar products moving in international commerce.”
For example, the amendments could extend power to the WHO to declare potential health emergencies related to climate. This is well outside the WHO’s authority.
It is not for the WHO to collect and share information it feels appropriate. All information should be available for the benefit of humanity. Article 11.
The WHO should have no power to determine whether New Zealand should give money to a developing nation. Article 44A.
The WHO is identifying new roles and groups that we will have to engage or use. These roles are not elected. e.g., the expansion of the National IHR Focal Point and introduction of a National Competent Authority responsible for the implementation of the Regulations. Article 4.
Other information you might like to include, for example, in part 3
The public health response of the last 4 years was able to be conducted under the 2005 International Health Regulations, which are currently binding on New Zealand. Those 2005 IHRs allowed the WHO to make recommendations only. New Zealand voluntarily cooperated with the recommendations of the WHO. New Zealand does not need a version of the regulations which removes from it the power to make decisions in the best interests of its people.
No time has been taken or inquiry completed to assess New Zealand’s response to the international public health emergency. Therefore, there has been no time to review or make findings of what we got right and what we could improve upon. An outcome from an inquiry is required before we run headlong into a set of regulations that will only strengthen the WHO’s power to make decisions with respect to health emergencies of international concern.
These are not the final versions of the 300+ amendments, which were due to be delivered to New Zealand on 27 January 2024 in accordance with Decision WHA75(9) and Article 55 of the 2005 IHRs.
The Review Committee Report of 13 February 2023, of which Andrew Forsyth from New Zealand is a member, raises various concerns about the proposed December 2022 amendments. We are not able to say whether those criticisms have been attended to as no further version of the 300+ amendments has been made public since that review report. Criticisms of the Review Committee:
Raise “sovereignty concerns” for Member States. Article 12.
Change the nature of the WHO’s recommendations from “non-binding to binding, and giving a binding effect”. Article 1.
Replace “public health risk” with “all risks with a potential to impact public health” may not increase the clarity of this Article.” Article 2
Defy individual human rights with the removal of the words “full respect for the dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons” as an overarching principle in the first paragraph, and notes that the concepts of human rights, dignity and fundamental freedoms are clearly defined within the framework of treaties to which many of the States Parties to the Regulations have adhered.”. Article 3.
Propose universal implementation of health/vaccine passports “the Committee is concerned that such a requirement may burden travellers, and may even raise ethical and discrimination-related concerns .” Articles 23, 35, 36, and 307.
Cabinet’s papers on the 2 Treaties identifies objectives which Cabinet describes as key. Objectives specified in the papers include: Coherence, Equity, One Health, Timely access to pathogens, Governance and Trade. The Cabinet paper appears to replicate concepts from both the IHR Amendments and Pandemic Instrument, suggesting that the Cabinet paper has been drafted to ensure that the Pandemic Treaties are adopted and implemented without any real consideration for the people of New Zealand.
The WHO is no longer solely funded by the member states from which it is formed. Significant funding (at least 80%) comes from voluntary contributions from public/private partnerships. This funding undermines the independence of the WHO and creates an inherent bias and pressure from the private outside interests that fund it. It is, therefore not surprising that as private funding has increased, so has the number of declared pandemics.
New Zealand’s former Prime Minister Chris Hipkins’ words are an important reminder: “Unlike New Zealand lawmaking, where elected representatives vote on laws, the WHO lawmaking process involves mostly unelected diplomats voting on the treaty.” These very treaties are the ones the New Zealand government is considering whether to adopt.
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