The Threat of the WHO’s New Pandemic Treaty: An Erosion of Sovereignty and Democracy

In a video from the Health and Democracy Conference in September 2023, Philip Krauss, a lawyer involved in a citizen’s initiative, expresses concerns about the World Health Organization’s (WHO) plan to extend its powers and financial capacities through a new pandemic treaty and amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR). Krauss argues that these changes will reduce the self-determination and sovereignty of countries and individuals. He highlights that the process is secretive and lacking public debate, and warns that the WHO seeks to control all health-related information and impose restrictions, including vaccination requirements, without a mechanism for challenge or accountability. Krauss urges citizens to pressure their political representatives to stop these negotiations.

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Key Insights:

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) is proposing a new pandemic treaty and amendments to the International Health Regulations.
  • These legal instruments aim to extend the WHO’s powers and control over health matters worldwide.
  • The reform process started in 2021 and will culminate in a final vote by the 194 WHO member states in May 2024.
  • The negotiations and decision-making processes are happening behind closed doors and at a rapid pace, without public debate or discussion.
  • The proposed measures grant the WHO the authority to impose restrictions, access limitations, lockdowns, surveillance, and experimental treatments related to public health emergencies.
  • The WHO also seeks to control and censor information related to health, impacting freedom of speech and communication.
  • The lack of mechanisms to challenge the WHO’s assessments or decisions undermines the principles of democracy and individual rights.
  • The new pandemic treaty will go through a national process of debate and ratification, while the amendments to the International Health Regulations will come into force automatically after the 2024 vote.
  • The lack of informed consent and public awareness regarding these legal instruments raises concerns about violating democratic principles and individual rights.
  • There is a need for citizens to pressure their political representatives to halt these negotiations and ensure the protection of democratic processes and national sovereignty.
  • Mainstream media coverage of this topic has been limited, and there is a call for greater public discussion on these proposed measures.


You’re most welcome to this talk. It’s Thursday the 12th of October. Now, I’m really going to ask you for about 10 or 15 minutes of your time today. This is from the Health and Democracy Conference, 13th of September 2023, in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Now, Philip Krauss is one of the lawyers involved in the Citizens‘ Initiative challenging the European Parliament to reject the new International Health Regulations and the WHO Pandemic Treaty. He is Dutch and speaks superb English, so please just give him this bit of time.

What can be seen today from the documents that are on the table, that are about to be negotiated, under the title of the new pandemic treaty and amendments to the International Health Regulations? We are here today because we are all concerned by the World Health Organization’s strong pressure to extend its powers, its structural and its financial capacities with a permanent effect over the sovereignty of the countries and over the self-determination of the people.

It was in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis that the WHO has initiated a reform process which will bring significant changes to all of us; that will concern every human being and every one of the 194 member states on this planet. This reform process was started in 2021 with two working streams preparing two separate legal instruments: a complete new treaty, the so-called new pandemic treaty, and significant amendments to the already existing International Health Regulations.

These two legal instruments, the treaty and IH, are about to be negotiated and finalized, and they bring material changes. The contents of these drafts are on the table, they are available, they are available for everybody. And already in 8 months‘ time from now, in May 2024, the 194 member states of the WHO will have their final vote on both of these international agreements.

This process takes place behind closed doors and at a tremendous speed. It is not reported nor discussed in our newspapers, in our national parliaments, in universities, nor in society. It is unacceptable. This is unacceptable because these two legal instruments will affect every one of us by reducing or even diminishing our right of self-determination, our right in general of human dignity, and it will eliminate the basic principle of democratic participation.

Also, the effects of these treaties will be felt by member states. They will lose their sovereignty and their autonomy. Therefore, every human being on this planet should understand the essence of the two legal instruments which come under the title of pandemic prevention, pandemic preparedness, and response.

In a nutshell, the WHO claims in these two legal instruments an absolute and non-questioned leadership in all health matters. As soon as the WHO refers itself to pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response, the WHO claims to have the ultimate expertise and the ultimate power in all aspects of this wide field.

I recommend reading carefully the current existing draft of the amendments to the International Health Regulations, Article 13A and Article 42. It shall be granted the power of a massive self-authorization whenever it claims to act under this purpose.

I recommend reading Article 12 that establishes the preconditions for Public Health Emergency of international concern together with Annex two of the proposed amendments. On the basis of an extremely vague concept, One Health, which basically means anything and nothing, animal health, ecosystem concerns, about the level of CO2, and of course, human health can give rise to permanent measures and even to a public health emergency to a pandemic called out and declared by the WHO.

And thereby, the WHO has the right to not only declare recommendations made by several experts, but also to impose on the people of this planet or only to a certain region all kinds of restrictions, access restrictions, lockdowns, surveillance, and experimental treatments. So far, the list of these potential measures can be found in the International Health Regulations, Article 18.

And there you will also find one example of the precondition of the proof of vaccination that was so far meant to be non-binding. In the future, as it is written down in Article 13A and 42 of the proposal, the commitment that the member states will give when they accept these amendments, the commitment that they will have to apply the proposed measures. This is not enough. Further, the WHO will most notably reserve and assume the right to define as the sole instance on this planet and to control all information that it claims to be related to health.

And this assumes as well the right for censorship and the right to interfere in social communication. It seems to be so important to the WHO that these provisions can be found in both of the international new agreements, in International Health Regulations and in the new pandemic treaty.

And last but not least, a brief summary that should be given once we speak about these new changes is the fact that there is no mechanism foreseen that will allow the people or the member states to challenge the assessment of the WHO. Whether it is the WHO’s assessment about a public health emergency, or their assessment with respect to certain measures, or when it comes to the imposing of a regime for what they call vaccination, as experimental as it might be, there will be simply no stop button for none of the member states and not, of course, not for us, the citizens.

So now, if we just look at it as a whole, this right of the WHO to self-declare, to auto-authorize, auto-authorize itself to claim a public health emergency of international concern and to maintain it for as long as it wants; to issue so-called recommendations that will be legally binding and that will be subject to a system of surveillance of the people, surveillance of the member states.

Then the total control and monopoly on information, including the right of censorship, and then the fact that there is no mechanism of control of the WHO and of correction. What do we have as a result?

Well, it is very simple to say that without the open debate, without the possibility of having different opinions, different hypothesis, different methods to be discussed at the table, there will be no science. And there will be ultimately no democracy. And there will be no legal court proceedings and no justice if the result is already predefined by one sole authority on this planet. There cannot be, by definition, a proper scientific process, a proper decision-making process. There cannot be any democracy.

Number two, it is a basic principle, not only of international law, not only of national constitutional law, that we have, as human beings, the right to know what we consent to. So if we ask ourselves, have we been asked? Have you been informed about this process that is about to become reality? The answer is no. And there is one important distinction to be made between these two legal instruments.

The new pandemic treaty will be considered by the WHO itself as a treaty and thereby shall be subject to a national process of debate and ratification. But not so for the International Health Regulations. The International Health Regulations, by definition of the WHO’s own writing, when you read the International Health Regulations, they are qualified as health regulations according to the WHO Constitution, Article 21.

And what does that mean as a consequence? There will be an automatic coming into force right after the vote in 2024. So far, it is still 24 months. But these 24 months have been reduced to 12 months only. So that means that at the end, after May 2025, the International Health Regulations will become law automatically.

We will not be asked. We have not been informed. And there will be a process of automatic enactment of the International Health Regulations. This is about as severe as it can be when it comes to the violation of the principle of informed consent.

This principle does not exist only on the individual level, but it exists also for democracies as a whole. And it exists under the title of self-determination of the people, which is one of the founding principles of the United Nations in the United Nations Charter, Article 1 of 1946.

Now, this is the reason why we should all get to know not only what is in these documents, but we shall claim and clearly say that some of these International Health Regulations and the changes that are modified and declared there will totally be opposed to what we consider our constitutional order.

As there is no public information right, as there will be censorship, as there will be human rights not protected, as there will be no checks and balances, as actually it will be the WHO to determine under which legal status we will have to live. That means the power will not be anymore in the hands of the people.

Therefore, these negotiations have to be stopped immediately. And it is a matter and a duty for all citizens now to impose the pressure towards their public representatives, political representatives, to make sure that the politicians, the political representatives, understand that they go beyond their entrusted vote.

They can use it now. As this is just an overview, and as we are here in Europe, and as within Europe, these rules have been already pushed forward to an alarming extent, we found it important to provide you with a more detailed overview on the situation here in Europe.

Well, if you’ve got concerns about a dystopian, dictatorial future, maybe that helped to bring them into focus a little bit. Let me just give you a couple of examples of what they’re talking about. I mean, these are the Articles here. They’re talking about health products, vaccines, medical devices, personal protective equipment, diagnostics, assistive products, cell and gene-based therapists, and their components, materials, or parts.

Now, I don’t want these imposed on me through the power of my nation-state, cell and gene-based therapists, health products, including vaccines, medical devices. It really sounds quite terrifying that the WHO would have total power over imposing these on us. And if we look through other parts of the treaty, we can see here that this is what they’ve done quite often.

Here, all they’ve done is simply cross out non-binding. So instead of used to mean non-binding advice, now, it means binding advice. And we just look through it. So for example, here they’ve crossed out this part, „with full respect for the dignity, human rights, and fundamental freedoms of persons.“

Why on Earth would you have a WHO treaty where you take out a clause that says the implementation of these regulations shall be with full respect for the dignity, human rights, and fundamental freedoms of persons? Why would you cross that out?

Get onto your politicians and tell them to kick this into out of the stadium. I don’t want it. If you want it, do nothing. If you don’t want it, contact your politicians, and they can stop this. But we’re running out of time at the moment.

The UK government, the Dutch government, the Australian government, the American government, the Canadian government, the NZ government, as far as I know, this is just going to be rubber-stamped. Why are our politicians not standing up for our freedoms and our national sovereignty?

Quite incredible. But this is what’s happening. If you think I’ve misinterpreted this, then just read this for yourself and let me know how I’ve misinterpreted it. But the way I read it is very consistent with Philip K’s way of reading it.

But anyway, he’s probably put it much better than I could, so I’m going to leave it there. Time is running out so may next year. It’s already October, November, December. It’s only seven or eight months away, and the politicians don’t seem to even have this on their radar. And of course, needless to say, mainstream media is not giving it the attention that you might think it merits.

Leave it there. Philip Krauss has said it all. Thank you for watching.