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The International Chamber of Commerce has issued the following statement following the decision of World Health Organization member states to commence negotiations on a new pandemic preparedness treaty.

ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO said:

“We very much welcome the decision today from WHO members to develop a global treaty to fight future pandemics.

“This is, undoubtedly, a welcome — and much needed — step forward to enable a collective response to future outbreaks of novel diseases. But, let’s be clear, it is not one that deals with the ongoing threat to lives and livelihoods posed by COVID-19.

“Governments must not fall into the trap of ignoring the present emergency by promising to deal with future threats. Warning lights are now flashing red throughout the real economy as the effect of a prolonged pandemic drags on productivity and stokes inflationary pressures.

“The global business community does not need promises to do better next time… We need the world to commit to a cast-iron action plan to finally get Covid-19 in check. That must start with a renewed effort to get vaccines to everyone, everywhere — and without further delay.”