WHO’s in Charge? WHAt’s in Store?

June 1, 2023 • Posted in Blog
by D. Joy Riley, M.D., M.A.

Executive Director

The World Health Organization (WHO), through the governing World Health Assembly (WHA) has proposed changes to the International Health Regulations (IHR) that eliminate human dignity, human rights, and freedoms of persons. The Article by Article Compilation of Proposed Amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005) submitted by States Parties in the context of Decision WHA75(9)2 shows the changes, noted by strikethroughs, underlining, and bold text. A strikethrough deletes existing text, and proposed new text is underlined and in bold font. Many changes are afoot. Only a few are considered here.

One change to Article 1 of the document (see NOTE 1 below) is the deletion of “non-binding,” as in non-binding “advice.” If the reader assumes that the retraction of “non-binding” means the advice of the WHO now is binding, he or she is correct. That should give a clue as to what the WHO is positioning itself (or a few nonelected persons) to be and do. Whatever the WHO “advises” in response to a public health emergency binds.  That advice can be temporary or standing.  Think COVID-19 mandates and restrictions on steroids – worldwide – because the WHO can declare a public health emergency.

Further, proposed changes to Article 2 would not limit these declarations to just public health (see NOTE 2 below).  ALL RISKS with a “potential to impact public health” are included.  Note that something that is “restricted” to “all” is not restricted at all.

Proposed amendments to Article 3 are breath-taking (see NOTE 3). In one fell swoop, human dignity, human rights, and the fundamental freedoms of persons is eradicated from the document, and presumably, from our world.  The ascendant principles of “equity, inclusivity, coherence, and the common but differentiated responsibilities . . .” (paying or being paid) replace human dignity, human rights, and the fundamental freedoms of persons.  It is repeated here because it bears repeating. The WHO through the WHA assumes that these can be taken away by their organization.  Perhaps these world community organizers misunderstand the 1948 UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and wrongly interpret that the UN gave human dignity, human rights, and the fundamental freedoms of persons to the world citizenry.  If the UN gave these, then the UN can take them away.

Crafters of this document perhaps need to be enlightened by the truth that while human dignity, human rights, and the fundamental freedoms of persons may have been recognized by the UN in 1948, these were not created by the UN — not in 1948 or any other year.  It was because human rights and the fundamental freedoms of persons had been so grossly violated during the Holocaust, that the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights was written, declaring, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood” (Article 1).  Moreover, the intent was to prevent such abuses; no longer should one group of human beings strip human rights from another group because they could.  Doing so would expose the perpetrators to international discipline/punishment.

Now, the international body succeeding those 1948 document originators is proposing to do that very thing: strip human dignity, rights, and freedoms from the peoples of the world, and supplant them with “principles” of their own choosing.  C. S. Lewis predicted this in his Abolition of Man essay: “For the power of Man to make himself what he pleases means . . .the power of some men to make other men what they please.” Moreover, Lewis warned that “the man-moulders of the new age will be armed with the powers of an omnicompetent state and an irresistible scientific technique: we shall get at last a race of conditioners who really can cut out all posterity in what shape they please.”

Welcome to the Brave New World, the WHO/WHA amendments to the IHR in 2023. Small wonder that there is a movement afoot to withdraw the U.S. from the WHO!

For more information:

1) In Article 1, “non-binding” has been eliminated (see document here):
“standing recommendation” means non-binding advice issued by WHO for specific ongoing public health risks pursuant to Article 16 regarding appropriate health measures for routine or periodic application needed to prevent or reduce the international spread of disease and minimize interference with international traffic;

“temporary recommendation” means non-binding advice issued by WHO pursuant to Article 15 for application on a time-limited, risk-specific basis, in response to a public health emergency of international concern, so as to prevent or reduce the international spread of disease and minimize interference with international traffic;

2)  Amendments to Article 2 include (deletion is stricken through; new text is in bold):
Article 2 Scope and purpose

The purpose and scope of these Regulations are to prevent, protect against, prepare, control and provide a public health response to the international spread of diseases including through health systems readiness and resilience in ways that are commensurate with and restricted to public health risk all risks with a potential to impact public health, and which avoid unnecessary interference with international traffic and trade, livelihoods, human rights, and equitable access to health products and health care technologies and know how.

3) Amendments to Article 3 include
1. The implementation of these Regulations shall be with full respect for the dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons based on the principles of equity, inclusivity, coherence and in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities of the States Parties, taking into consideration their social and economic development.