The leaders of Australia’s major parties faced questions on the future of Australia’s pandemic response as they continued to campaign for the 2022 election Tuesday May 17.
As the federal election headed into its last week, journalists pushed Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese to state their positions on signing up to the global pandemic agreements currently under consideration by the World Health Organisation.
“World leaders agreed to commence negotiations on an international framework, treaty, or accord for pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response, ushering in new opportunities to shape the future of global health security,” the United Nations Foundation announced on its website in December 2021.
Speaking at a press conference in Darwin on Tuesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison emphasised his support for the global approach to pandemics.
“I have always been supportive right from the outset and was criticised heavily for saying the WHO should have those powers,” Scott Morrison said.
“You have to look closely at what the detail is in these things as you always must, but the idea that countries can just say ‘no you can’t come in and have a look’ at a pandemic that’s about to breakout and actually effect the public health and economy of the entire world as we saw with this pandemic, then I think it’s only sensible that this is an area of international cooperation,” Scott Morrison continued.
Anthony Albanese appeared to avoid the question of whether a Labor government would sign up to the global treaty saying “We need to strengthen the WHO and the way it operates,” reported Sky News.
“One of our three pillars is our alliance with the United States, engagement in the region and support for multilateral forums,” Albanese continued.
Described by some as “medical fascism”, the treaty has been criticised for undermining the sovereignty and democratic institutions of the states and peoples that sign up to it, while outsourcing decision making powers to unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats.
“It is likely the treaty will make it possible for a foreign bureaucracy with unacceptably close ties to China to call the shots” wrote the Spectator.
Among those opposing the treaty are the minor parties One Nation and Liberal Democrats, with the Lib Dems describing the move as a “dangerous move towards centralised control”.
An online petition to stop the UK government from signing the treaty has reached over 100,000 signatures, with proponents of the petition arguing that any treaty should be taken before the people in a referendum.
The vote for the WHO treaty will be held on May 22-28 in Geneva. reported Spectator.
Drew Roller is a Filmmaker, Musician and stay at home dad. He enjoys films about sword swinging immortals, 90s games about British spies and long conversations online that push at the boundaries of polite conversation.