Fact Check-The WHO is not planning to implement a ‘pandemic treaty’ that would strip member states of sovereignty

The World Health Organization (WHO) is not planning to strip member states of their sovereignty by implementing a ‘pandemic treaty’ during an annual meeting.

Such claims have spread widely across social media platforms, including Facebook (here , here, here), Twitter (here), and Bitchute (here).

One Facebook user wrote on May 12: “As part of the World Economic Forum’s Great Reset goal, the WHO is aiming to alter a treaty that would give them global control over human health" (here).

Reuters Fact Check has addressed false claims related to the ‘Great Reset’ on multiple occasions (here , here and here).

A Twitter user, meanwhile, speculated that a pandemic treaty would result in unvaccinated people being imprisoned and losing their homes. His tweet has been liked more than 2,000 times (here).

This is not true. In an email to Reuters, a WHO spokesperson said claims about a future pandemic treaty advocating for imprisoning the unvaccinated, or making them homeless, would run “contrary to what any such global agreement would seek”.

“Such notions have never entered into the negotiations around the proposed accord […]

“Any accord, if agreed by the WHO’s Member States, would be expected to include the respect and promotion of human rights as a core component – including the right to health – and to facilitate personal freedoms,” they said.

Some of the posts appear to conflate the World Economic Forum conference taking place in Davos, Switzerland (here) and the WHO World Health Assembly taking place in Geneva (here).


The WHO told Reuters that while a proposal to amend current International Health Regulations (IHRs) (here) would be on the 2022 WHA agenda, this would not be the same as voting on a pandemic treaty.

The IHRs, a legal instrument defining member state rights and obligations in handling specific public health emergencies, are widely seen as insufficient for dealing with a global pandemic (here) - and negotiations for reforms are expected to take place over the next two years.

Such negotiations include sensitive items proposed by Washington like the deployment of expert teams to outbreak sites and a new compliance committee to monitor implementation of the rules, a WHO document has showed.

Any proposals relating to a future treaty are therefore far from being formalised, though these might eventually include rules on vaccine-sharing and a proposed ban on wildlife markets.


Professor Sara Davies, a global health governance expert at Griffith University, Australia (here), told Reuters that the WHO would have “no capacity” to force member states to comply with public health measures, even if a treaty is eventually agreed upon.

She said in the event of member states opting into a future pandemic treaty, “they will adopt legislation to implement the treaty at the state level, which, for most countries, will require parliamentary proceedings.”

The WHO spokesperson said there are 194 member states of the WHO that make “sovereign decisions”, and it is “the WHO’s role to support these countries in taking actions to protect and promote their citizens’ health.”

“As with all international instruments, any accord, if and when agreed, would be determined by governments themselves, who would take any action while considering their own national laws and regulations.”

Other outlets have covered similar claims in fact checks (here) and (here).


False. The WHO is not planning to implement a treaty in May 2022 that would deprive countries of their sovereignty.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .