The amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR) were approved on 1 June 2024 during the World Health Assembly held in Geneva. The approval is the result of two years of intense negotiations. More than 190 countries were involved, among which also all EU Member States. The new text of the IHR aims to improve the management of public health emergencies of international concern and to better protect all citizens from serious cross-border health threats.  This is also a priority of the EU’s Global Health Strategy. 

The legally-binding international rules were first agreed almost 20 years ago. The IHR’s framework has been now updated, as a consequence of the pandemic. The revised IHR will help countries to prevent and respond to acute public health risks and improve the global health security architecture. The European Commission also welcomed the agreement by the World Health Assembly to continue the ongoing negotiations on the Pandemic Agreement, with the goal of reaching consensus by the next World Health Assembly in May 2025. 

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