A controversial move within the WHO to consolidate and expand its global pandemic management powers has been slammed by several prominent Australian Legislators. The proposals under scrutiny are the so-called “Global Pandemic Treaty” and certain related Biden Administration amendments to the International Health Regulations 2005. They would, in the words of one senator, “give the WHO the power to act in a pandemic without the cooperation of individual states”.
Recent comments by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese have stoked concerns that the government will sign a pact that would outsource Australia’s pandemic response management.
In recent posts and interviews, Hon. Malcolm Roberts (Senator, One Nation), Hon. Alex Antic (Senator, Liberal Party), Hon. Gerard Rennick (Senator, Liberal National Party) and former Liberal National MP and current One Nation Senate Candidate George Christenson have all come out in strong opposition to the World Health Organisation’s controversial so-called “Global Pandemic Treaty”.
Their concerns revolve around the ability of Australian governments to determine their own responses to health pandemics while safeguarding the liberties and rights of their citizens.
Both Pauline Hanson’s One Nation and George Christenson have started online petitions demanding that Australian delegates to the World Health Assembly vote against the proposals. One Nation’s petition has received over 50,000 signatures.
Senator Malcolm Roberts also spoke about the Global Pandemic Treaty on George Christenson’s popular podcast, Conservative One.
Alex Antic, a Liberal Senator for South Australia, has written a strong letter to the Foreign Minister expressing concerns about the Amendments and the Global Pandemic Treaty. In it, he condemned any ‘draconian measures’ that would ‘restrain the constitutional authority of the Commonwealth and deprive Australian citizens of their right to medical autonomy’.
Antic finished the letter:
“the Australian people must not be subjected to the whims of WHO bureaucrats, and it is imperative that the Australian Government vote against the Amendments and resist the Global Pandemic Treaty.”
He posted the full text of his letter on Facebook:
“I write to register my concerns regarding the amendments proposed by the Biden Administration to the International Health Regulations 2005 (“the Amendments”) and the impending “Global Pandemic Treaty”.
I understand that the governing body of the WHO, the World Health Assembly will meet in Geneva later this month and, among other matters, that body will discuss the adoption of the Amendments by member states including Australia.
In broad terms, the Amendments seek to give the WHO the power to act in a pandemic without the cooperation of individual nation-states.
I am concerned that if adopted, these Amendments will shift much of this decision-making power away from Australian decision-makers, directly to the WHO and create a one-size-fits-all approach to disease management in this country.
Moreover, I note that on 1 December 2021 the World Health Assembly resolved to establish an ‘intergovernmental negotiating body’ to draft a new ‘WHO convention, agreement or other international instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response’, the so-called Global Pandemic Treaty.
I am greatly concerned that the Global Pandemic Treaty will include even more draconian measures than those contained in the Amendments which will restrain the constitutional authority of the Commonwealth and deprive Australian citizens of their right to medical autonomy.
The Amendments and the Global Pandemic Treaty threaten our sovereignty by allowing the WHO to declare pandemics, impose lockdowns, and enforce treatments against the will of the Australian people.
One must also factor into account the historical failures from the WHO leadership in recent pandemics including a failed response to both the H1N1 and COVID-19 pandemics.
Any mechanism which overrules governments and hands supranational powers to unelected bureaucrats is completely unacceptable. The WHO cannot be allowed to control the world’s health agenda.
In my respectful view, the Australian people must not be subjected to the whims of WHO bureaucrats, and it is imperative that the Australian Government vote against the Amendments and resist the Global Pandemic Treaty.”
The criticism comes just days out from a Federal Election in which so-called “freedom-friendly” minor parties may play a significant role. Nevertheless, neither Antic, Rennick or Roberts is up for re-election in Saturday’s Federal Election.
As we head to the polls, Christians have perhaps more information available than ever before to help them make an informed and godly decision with their votes.
Here are just a few of them:
- Christian Values Checklist (a rating and ranking of the main parties)
- Australian Christian Lobby — Survey (a survey of individual candidates, although many have not responded)
- FamilyVoice Australia (a summary of the main parties and party leaders)
- The Catholic Weekly — Election Guide (a summary of the positions of some of the main parties)
- Vote Wisely — How to Vote Cards (a how-to-vote guide for below-the-line and above-the-line senate voting)
Please compare and cross-reference the resources linked above. Don’t rely on one resource for all your research.
Whatever the result of Saturday’s election, Christians can continue to pray for our political leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-3).
Photo by Anna Shvets.