Global Risk Governance in Health by Nathalie Brender (auth.)

By Nathalie Brender (auth.)

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Thus, IHR, the legally binding instrument, did not support and justify WHO’s actions during the crisis, actions that complied mostly with a non-legally binding draft of rules. However, WHO’s actions can be regarded as generally accepted practice, since member states effectively applied its recommendations and guidelines. Moreover, states generally complied with the obligation to report daily cases (as even China did, albeit in a later stage of the outbreak management) and with travel-related measures.

Authorization for such an information investigation was not part of the IHR 1969, but would be folded into IHR 2005. The recommendations issued, as well as the surveillance system put in place, also anticipated IHR 2005. The 2002 project was thus modified by actual practice during the SARS crisis to result in IHR 2005, which was now the legally binding instrument for addressing public health emergencies of international concern. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome 33 IHR 2005 resulted from a consensus reached among WHO member states, which suggests that some requirements included in the draft revision of 2002 were softened (or even abandoned) in order to reach that consensus.

In the case of WHO, it could implement strategies such as withholding assistance interventions. However, these actions, while targeting a state behavior, may have negative consequences not only for the population of this state but for other populations as well. Randomization consists of adding uncertainty about payouts to reduce risky behavior. Again, this strategy would be difficult due to the already high level of uncertainty existing in global risk situations, and vagueness about a possible intervention would make a difficult difference within that context.

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