The end of national sovereignty and freedom
Even as much of the world continues to outgrow the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) is already looking ahead and preparing for the emergence of “other pandemics and other major health emergencies.” To ensure the world is adequately prepared for future pandemics, the “World Health Assembly” held a special session on December 1, 2021, titled The World Together.
The World Health Assembly is “the decision-making body of the WHO” and “is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States and focuses on a specific health program prepared by the Executive Board”. During this special session, which was in fact only “the second since the creation of the WHO in 1948”, the participants agreed to “draft and negotiate a convention, agreement or other international instrument under the Constitution of the World Health Organization to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness and response”. This would become known as the Pandemic Treaty, which was the focus of discussions at the Seventy-fifth World Health Assemblywhich was held in Geneva from May 22 to 28, 2022.
According to Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the first Director General of the WHO and who is not actually a doctor, this treatise represented an “opportunity to strengthen the global health architecture to protect and promote the well-being of all”. If adopted, the Pandemic Treaty will enable the WHO to make sweeping changes to the health systems of its member countries from 2024.
In particular, this agreement will grant the WHO the power to declare a pandemic, based on its own loosely defined criteria, in any of its 194 member countries at any time in the future. This will also allow the WHO to unilaterally determine the measures that will be imposed in response to these future declared pandemics, including containment policies, mandatory mask-wearing, social distancing and forcing the population to undergo medical treatment. and vaccinations.
Contrary to popular opinion, the WHO is not an independent, impartial and ethical organization that aims to achieve the common good. In reality, its goals and programs are set by its donors, including some of the world’s richest countries and most influential philanthropists. For decades, “philanthropists and their foundations have [gained] growing influence” (pdf) when it comes to shaping the global health agenda in “place people in international organizations and gain privileged access to scientific, business and political elites.”
For example, as Jens Martens and Karolin Seitz explain in Philanthropic power and development: who shapes the agenda?“the Gates Foundation and earlier the Rockefeller Foundation, have shaped global health policy not only through their direct grantmaking, but also through the provision of matching funds, support of selected research programs, creation of global partnerships for health with Foundation staff in their decision-making bodies, and through direct advocacy at the highest political level”.
Indeed, in 2016, The Guardian reported that “The Gates Foundation is now the second-largest donor to the World Health Organization after the United States, as well as one of the world’s largest investors in agricultural biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. “. Unfortunately, when philanthropists and their foundations advance their own interests, they do so at the expense of the common interests of society. There is no reason to believe that this dynamic will be different in the case of the pandemic treaty.
The pandemic treaty has the potential to be extremely damaging to the future of humanity, as it will allow the most powerful contributors to the WHO to shape universal pandemic measures instead of recognizing the importance to develop specific policies and approaches based on social, economic and physical conditions. realities and needs of each country. The treaty will eliminate the national will and sovereignty of member countries, as it will dictate their health policies based on abstraction, instead of taking into account the realities prevailing in each place.
Even if the pandemic treaty was genuinely intended to achieve purely noble humanitarian outcomes, it must still be opposed on the basis of liberal thought, which holds that only the individual should possess absolute responsibility for their own well-being. , assuming he is of mature age and sane. That is to say, the individual is the only one authorized to make decisions which affect his body, his life and his future, in the absence of the coercive power of any external authority.
However, the pandemic treaty will not allow individuals to rely on their own physical, spiritual and intellectual faculties to achieve their own well-being. Instead, it will force treatments and vaccinations on individuals against their own will, violating bodily freedom on a global scale. History testifies to the fact that the violation of bodily freedom leads to slavery and regression in society.
The pandemic treaty will also give the WHO the power to issue dictates in the private sphere of individuals and exercise control over their social and public life, the institutions of their society and their governments, all on behalf of of public health. In doing so, it will suppress civil liberties, economic freedom, positive freedom (freedom from) and negative freedom (freedom from). All of these forms of freedom are intended to be constructive forces in society that contribute to the achievement of social progress. Once these freedoms are stifled, the foundations of progress and advancement also disappear.
Through the Pandemic Treaty, the WHO will impose its own value judgment on the world population, thereby ignoring the fact that values differ greatly between peoples, cultures, traditions and nations. In other words, it will not take into account the diversity of people when it comes to making decisions about their own bodies based on their own religious beliefs, commitments, opinions and cultural and traditional values. It will also violate inclusiveness, as the imposition of a single value judgment; namely, the “One Healthmeans that the WHO does not treat other value judgments or cultural and traditional practices fairly and equitably.
The pandemic treatise ignores the fact that, as Joseph Schumpeter noted, there is no “unambiguous point of view regarding the social whole, general welfare, etc.; nor would such a unitary view exist if all individuals and groups wanted to act and evaluate on this basis, since the general good and the social ideal appear differently to each.
In medicine, Schumpeter continues, even if people “recognize sufficiently what good health is and generally seek to achieve such a state”, “one cannot prove to anyone that health should be positively valued”, because health cannot “be unambiguous”. defined. In reality, people seek “good health with very different levels of commitment, valuing this good over others very differently; nor that their goals aren’t all exactly the same – the health regimens followed by the boxer and the singer are very clearly not the same. Even surgeons trained in the same field would not necessarily agree on the same treatment and operation.
For example, writes Schumpeter, “Faced with the option of removing an ulcer or avoiding the damage associated with surgery, two physicians may argue over whether either would achieve the desired healing of the ulcer. same way”. Moreover, within a particular nation-state, “among people sharing the same political, social, economic and cultural interests and having the same outlook on the social world, there can always be differences about what is worth hard to be sought”. Accordingly, why would any person or organization claiming to support liberal democratic values support the Pandemic Treaty?
Those who support the pandemic treaty are ignoring the fundamental principles of liberal thought and the principles of democratic governance, as they do not, like Ludwig von Mises Put the, “sees a reason why they should not, by force, compel other people to do what these people are not prepared to do on their own”. Treaty advocates believe it is acceptable to employ large-scale central planning to coerce people into doing “the right thing” based on value judgments that are not their own. They don’t care, keep on going Mises, that “the apparatus of physical restraint employed in such efforts is that of the government’s police power or an illegal ‘picket’ force whose violence is condoned by the government. … What counts is the substitution of coercion for voluntary action.
Supporters of the Pandemic Treaty should remember the words of John Stuart Mill: “Neither a person, nor any number of persons, is authorized to tell another human creature of mature age that he will not of his life for his own benefit whatever he chooses to do with it. He is the person most interested in his own welfare, the interest which any other person, except those of strong personal attachment, may have in it, is insignificant, compared to that which he himself has; the interest which society has in him individually (save as to his conduct towards others) is fractional and quite indirect: while, as regards his own feelings and circumstances, the most ordinary man or woman has means of knowledge infinitely exceeding those that can be possessed by anyone else.
That is to say, the individual is in the best position to be the final judge of the action with regard to his bodily autonomy, his private sphere and his freedom.
The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Epoch Times.