IMO has participated in the Ninth meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) for a World Health Organization (WHO) instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response (18-28 March), which is being held in hybrid format at the WHO headquarters, in Geneva, Switzerland. 

On behalf of IMO, Mr. Jan de Boer, Senior Legal Officer, highlighted the importance of designating seafarers as essential workers, given their critical role in the supply chain at all times. Seafarers’ welfare and safety, as well as their rights to cross borders, should be protected. IMO Member States are encouraged to raise the concerns regarding protection of seafarers during the current meeting.

The content of the draft text of the new instrument is currently under negotiation between WHO Member States. It is expected that the text of the draft WHO Pandemic Agreement will be finalized during the current set of negotiations. 

Read more on the INB here