The pandemic dilemma

A reply to Pedro Villarreal Pedro Villareal wonders whether and how global health security can be enhanced through international law. He raises two interrelated questions: First, should an expert body be able to force the WHO Director-General to declare a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)? And second: Should there be sanctions against states that exceed the security measures recommended by the WHO? In other words: Should they be …



The WHO’s new emergency powers

From SARS to Ebola

The Ebola outbreak is only the third Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) ever declared by the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO’s emergency authority is based on the International Health Regulations (IHR) adopted in 2005. While these regulations enable the organization only to recommend measures to states, its decisions to declare a PHEIC and to issue temporary recommendations are de facto authoritative points of reference for global and …