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A WHO pandemic convention could set in place an overarching framework needed for strengthening global health security. As the World Health Assembly (WHA) debated the merits of such an agreement, a critically important regional instrument – the Treaty for the Establishment of the African Medicines Agency (AMA Treaty) – entered into force on 5 November 2021. The new agency will, among other things, ensure there is a “common framework” for addressing “emerging issues and pandemics in the event of a public health emergency on the continent with cross border or regional implications.”

An improved worldwide health security strategy is essential but global mechanisms should complement without undermining effective regional, national, and sub-national approaches. Consequently, WHA decision-makers should carefully consider the scope of a potential global convention and make deliberate choices as to the content that requires truly worldwide coordination while incorporating and enhancing fit for purpose regional, national, and local strategies.

Publication Citation

Africa Health, November 25, 2021.