Meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee regarding the multi-country monkeypox outbreak, 25 June 2022

The WHO Director-General has the pleasure of transmitting the Report of the Meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) Emergency Committee regarding the multi-country monkeypox outbreak, held on 23 June 2022, from 12:00 to 17:00 Geneva time (CEST). The WHO Director-General concurs with the advice offered by the IHR Emergency Committee regarding the multi-country monkeypox outbreak and, at present, does not determine that the event constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

Since 11 May 2022, the WHO Secretariat alerted the States Parties to the IHR in relation to this event, through postings on the Event Information Site (a secured platform established by the WHO Secretariat for information sharing with States Parties to the IHR). These postings aimed to raise awareness about the extent of the outbreak, inform readiness efforts, and provide access to technical guidance for immediate public health actions recommended by the WHO Secretariat.

Convening an IHR Emergency Committee signals an escalation of the level of alert for States Parties to the IHR and the international public health community, and it represents a call for intensified public health actions in response to this event.

The WHO Director-General is taking the opportunity to express his most sincere gratitude to the Chair, Vice-Chair, and Members of the IHR Emergency Committee, as well as to its Advisers.

Proceedings of the meeting

Members of and Advisers to the Emergency Committee were convened in person (Chair and Vice-Chair) and by teleconference, via Zoom.

The WHO Secretariat welcomed the participants. The Representative of the Office of Legal Counsel briefed the Members and Advisers on their roles and responsibilities and identified the mandate of the Emergency Committee under the relevant articles of the IHR. The Ethics Officer from the Department of Compliance, Risk Management, and Ethics provided the Members and Advisers with an overview of the WHO Declaration of Interests process. The Members and Advisers were made aware of their individual responsibility to disclose to WHO, in a timely manner, any interests of a personal, professional, financial, intellectual or commercial nature that may give rise to a perceived or actual conflict of interest. They were additionally reminded of their duty to maintain the confidentiality of the meeting discussions and the work of the Committee. Each Member and Adviser was surveyed. No conflicts of interest were identified.

The Principal Legal Officer then facilitated the election of officers of the Committee, in accordance with the rules of procedures and working methods of the Emergency Committee. Dr Jean-Marie Okwo-Bele was elected as Chair of the Committee, Professor Nicola Low as Vice-Chair, and Dr Inger Damon as Rapporteur, all by acclamation. The meeting was handed over to the Chair who introduced the objectives of the meeting: to provide views to the WHO Director-General on whether the event constitutes a public health emergency of international concern, and if so, to provide views on potential temporary recommendations.

Source: World Health Organization

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