Bundestag rejects proposals from the Union and AfD

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Written By Kampretz Bianca

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Berlin – Yesterday the Bundestag rejected two proposals from the CDU/CSU and the AfD on the global treaty on the pandemic. The coalition factions, BSW and AfD, rejected the CDU/CSU proposal and the left abstained. Furthermore, 581 deputies voted against the AfD motion, 71 voted in favor and there was one abstention.

At the end of May, the World Health Assembly in Geneva is expected to vote on a global agreement on the pandemic. The 194 member states of the World Health Organization have been in negotiations since the end of 2021 (WHO) about this agreement.

The goal is to improve the global health architecture for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response. Above all, lessons must be learned from the COVID-19 pandemic to better prepare the world for future pandemics. Recently there was a new draft of the agreement was published.

In its candidacy, the Union called on the federal government, among other things, to consistently support the prevention approach, the comprehensive prevention of pandemics, in negotiations on a WHO pandemic agreement.

The agreement should make the WHO more capable of acting, with its powers clearly defined and the central role of member states and citizens’ rights protected, the application states.

Furthermore, it must be ensured that the implementation of the agreement is in line with the national health policies of the Member States and that national sovereign rights remain fully intact.

The Union also defends the protection of intellectual property and against the weakening of patent protection for vaccines and medicines. This would send the wrong signal about the research needed by companies and, due to the lack of skills needed to produce vaccines and medicines, would not lead to faster production and fairer distribution, the MPs write.

In its application, the AfD parliamentary group called for the rejection of the planned pandemic treaty and the revised WHO International Health Regulations. WHO initiatives aim to expand its influence by strengthening skills and resources, it is said. Back in February, the Bundestag held its first reading on the both applications discussedand there was a public meeting of the Health Committee’s Global Health Subcommittee in April.

Franziska Kersten, SPD member of the Bundestag, assessed that the AfD motion was “fear-mongering and useless”. FDP health politician Andrew Ullmann also stated yesterday that debates on the pandemic treaty must be conducted objectively. The AfD did not understand how urgent an internationally coordinated response was to better prepare for a pandemic, Ullmann said. But what is needed is a “strong alliance for global health”.

Foreign policy expert Jürgen Hardt, from the Union, explained that in times of regression in multilateralism, unity is needed in the pandemic treaty. Not everything went smoothly during the pandemic and therefore we had to find common structural conditions, said Hardt.

Jürgen Kretz, from the Greens, also spoke out in favor of a quick agreement on the pandemic treaty. “The window of opportunity to take the right direction in preventing the pandemic is already closing. This is why an early agreement is so important,” Kretz said. Kathrin Vogler, from the left, criticized the fact that rich countries do not want to be forced to relax the property rights of pharmaceutical manufacturers.

The AfD, on the other hand, called for the creation of a commission of inquiry into the government’s work during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is also a need for an investigation report into the WHO’s role in the “health crisis”, said AfD MP Christina Baum. Andrej Hunko from BSW also requested a corresponding review. The federal government must work to address the pandemic in Geneva, he emphasized.

SPD politician Tina Rudolph explained that we need to be better prepared for possible future pandemics. “If we don’t protect people better next time, we won’t fulfill our responsibility,” she said. © cmk/aerzteblatt.de

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