No, the Australian parliament will NOT get to decide whether we hand our health sovereignty to the WHO
Use your critical thinking when you hear government assurances about the WHO
The Federal government in Australia is backing the WHO to be given extensive new powers.
Don’t be fooled by reassuring platitudes that we will retain our sovereignty.
This post explains how our parliament will NOT get to decide whether we should give these powers to the WHO.
Proposed amendments to the IHR
The proposed changes to the International Heath Regulations (IHR), to be considered by the World Health Assembly in May 2024, would see Australia obliged to follow the WHO’s lead in:
- Declaring an emergency;
- Mandating public health measures; and
- Gagging public and scientific debate.
This is, of course, ridiculous. Australia, and not the WHO, should make its own public health decisions. And robust political and scientific debate is critical, even more so (not less so!) in an emergency. (The WHO have tried to turn “managing misinformation” – a.k.a. censorship – into a virtue. It isn’t. Suppressing political debate is anti-democratic, and questioning is fundamental to the scientific method. We know this, and we must remember it.)
The government’s reassurances that parliament will consider the proposed changes to the International Health Regulations (IHR) – and that only Australian parliaments can change Australian laws – are disingenuous.
If we don’t actively reject the IHR amendments, we will become legally obliged to follow the WHO’s diktats, without parliament having to decide anything. Under international law, our parliaments will be obliged to implement what the WHO requires. (And what’s worse, seem keen to do so!) Here’s how it works.
Federal government gets to decide
The Australian government supports these new powers for the WHO. Parliament won’t get to vote on it – the Federal government gets to decide. This is because the powers are contained in the IHR, and the IHR is an existing legal instrument that already applies to us. Amendments to the IHR come into force unless our nation proactively rejects them. The Federal government supports them, so has decided not to reject them. The upshot is: no decision is required for Australia to become bound by the proposed IHR amendments. (This is in contrast to the pandemic treaty – which does require a decision – but even then, it is the executive arm of government, and not the parliament, that has power under our constitution to enter into the treaty.)
The IHR amendments will only “go through” parliament in a very limited sense. The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) will likely consider a National Interest Analysis prepared by the government, in mid 2025, and possibly conduct an inquiry. It will make recommendations, which are likely to be supportive of the IHR amendments, in line with government policy, given that a majority of its members are government nominees. At any rate, the government is not bound to follow JSCOT’s recommendations. So yes, the proposed amendments will be tabled in parliament, but no, parliament doesn’t get to decide anything.
Say NO to the WHO
We need to get a message to the PM that Australian voters insist that the WHO remain an advisory body only, and that politicians who fail to protect our health sovereignty will be routed at the ballot box.
Rejecting or reserving our position on the 2022 IHR amendments before 1 December 2023 – which would fast track implementation of the 2024 amendments – is a good place to start. Our government doesn’t seem to want to do this on our behalf – but you can help by signing this People’s Letter to the WHO today.
And unless you want the WHO telling your doctor what they can, can’t and must prescribe for you, please take 5 minutes to contact your MP – easy to do using resources here. If we’re silent, we’ll find ourselves being forced to do what we’re told, rather than making our own medical choices.
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medical censorship, informed consent, human rights and stopping the WHO