Power rests with a handful of our people – who are they?

Author: Keri Molloy. 

The WHO’s push for global health governance depends on unelected and largely anonymous delegates.

Given the enormity of their task, and the responsibility they carry, we should know who represents Aotearoa/New Zealand at the World Health Organisation and its governing body, the World Health Assembly.

Back on May 23, I asked the Ministry of Health who they were.

What are their roles?

Did they have speaking and voting rights?

Who appointed them?

Who is charged with voting for New Zealand, as a World Health Organisation member state?

Have the issues raised at the Assembly been discussed in Parliament?

I also asked Peter Abernethy at the Ministry of Health if his department would be preparing a media statement to explain the issues and the procedure.

There was no response.

I asked again through an Official Information Act request.

There was no response.

I complained to the Office of the Ombudsman about not receiving a response from the Ministry of Health.

I was referred back to the Ministry.

There was no response.

The issue

The World Health Organisation is an unelected  bureaucracy with several irons in the fire that will impact our lives:

  • Amendments to the 2005 International Health Regulations (IHR), an instrument of international law that will be legally-binding on 194 member states.
  • A pandemic treaty. New Zealand must uphold a treaty if the government has ensured it is law in New Zealand.
  • Preparedness and Resilience for Emerging Threats, which includes ‘a global implementation roadmap’.
  • Health Emergency Preparedness Response and Resilience.
  • A Global Digital Health Certification Network, that builds upon the experience of networks for COVID-19 certificates.

New Zealand’s representatives are participating in negotiations in both the treaty and amended international health regulations. These delegates play a significant role in giving the WHO control of health measures, digitalisation of health documents, compliance and implementation.

We did not vote for them. We don’t know what they think or if they have concerns and, if so, why. What do they believe is the right approach to vaccine mandates, lockdowns, quarantines, vaccine passports and masking? What do they feel about the WHO’s pandemic policies during the past three years and its continued wilful blindness to COVID-19 vaccine induced cardiac arrests and other serious adverse side effects?

Former WHO scientist David Bell, writing in a Brownstone Institute newsletter, comments, “No rational democracy would countenance outsourcing its governance to others. Enthusiasm for such an institution could only come from national leaders who are working for other interests, or capable of being coerced.”

He warns that when the IHR amendments come into force, the WHO “will be telling we-the-people whether we can work, see our families, or travel. It will tell us when we must be confined, examined, tested, and injected (Article 18). They will have ‘undertaken’ to follow a long list of other directives that the Director General will dictate, and to suppress our disagreement should we complain (amendment to Article 33).”

Bell outlines how things will change for countries that go along with WHO’s plans: “States will have “undertaken” to follow all future recommendations (Article 1, new art. 13A) from the Director General regarding the management of health emergencies, whenever he/she decides that something within the biosphere might pose a threat.”

Why isn’t this issue splashed over mainstream media as is, for example, the Spanish football kiss?

Bell outlines the gravity of the WHO moves: “The amendments to the IHR are intended to fundamentally change the relationship between individuals, their country’s governments, and the WHO. They place the WHO as having rights overriding that of individuals, erasing the basic principles developed after World War Two regarding human rights and the sovereignty of States. In doing so, they signal a return to a colonialist and feudalist approach fundamentally different to that to which people in relatively democratic countries have become accustomed. The lack of major pushback by politicians and the lack of concern in the media and consequent ignorance of the general public is therefore both strange and alarming.”

If passed, the WHO’s Director General will be able to dictate restrictions and other measures at any time for any potential risk, including climate issues.

The WHO will have power to label opinions or information as ‘mis-information or disinformation, and require member states to squash that which doesn’t fit its purpose.

The door is wide open for unbridled power.

The UK’s all-party parliamentary group ( APPG) co-chair Esther McVey said: “The Treaty and IHR amendments could cement a disastrous approach to future pandemics. It seems unwise to give an unelected and largely privately-funded supranational body, power over sovereignty and individual rights with seemingly no oversight. My constituents are concerned, not least because the WHO has a poor track record when it comes to pandemics. I question whether we want to hand such authority to the WHO, whose focus in recent decades has moved away from its laudable founding principles, to blunt instruments such as lockdowns and a one-size fits all approach to public health with the terrible consequences we are now seeing.”

In Australia more than 55,000 citizens have signed a petition requesting their Parliament to vote on whether to accept or reject the amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005).

In Canada there is a move to tell Parliament to stop IHR negotiations and enact legislation that will enable it to exit the WHO.

In the USA a bill has been introduced to Congress requiring the President to immediately withdraw the United States from the World Health Organisation and prohibits using any federal funds to provide for US participation in the WHO. The bill also repeals the 1948 act authorizing the United States to join the WHO. This “HR79 – WHO Withdrawal Act” has been referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

The process

At the 75th World Health Assembly in May 2022, governments agreed to establish the Working Group on the International Health Regulations (WGIHR) to develop a package of targeted amendments to the IHR.

More than 300 proposed amendments are currently being negotiated by the WGIHR.

The WGIHR will present its final text to the World Health Assembly in May 2024 for consideration. If passed, requiring agreement of just 50 per cent of those present, member states will have 10 months to reject, after which it will come into force for non-rejecting states two months later.

If submitted for a vote, their adoption requires a simple majority of the 194 World Health Assembly states’ representatives present and voting. Alternatively, a committee of the Assembly may be tasked to negotiate and reach a consensus.

The WGIHR group will meet again in October and December 2023 – to discuss and agree on amendments for presentation to the World Health Assembly in May 2024.

The amendments are designed to be complementary and compatible with the WHO treaty, (WHO CA+) that will also be considered at the World Health Assembly in May 2024.

The WHO’s Executive Board gives effect to the decisions and policies of the World Health Assembly. The Organisation is headed by the Director-General, who is appointed by the World Health Assembly on the nomination of the Executive Board.

The entities with which WHO engages in partnerships include philanthropic foundations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

New Zealand’s presence

New Zealand’s relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO) is led by the Public Health Agency’s Global Health Group at Manatū Hauora. The Global Health Group can be contacted at globalhealth@health.govt.nz. The group comprises two Advisors and one Senior Advisor. The team is led by Group Manager Salli Davidson (salli.davidson@health.govt.nz) and Manager Lucy Cassels (lucy.cassels@health.govt.nz).

On a WHO web page, that is hard to find, NZ delegates are listed as follows:

  • Chief Delegate Professor D. Sarfati Director-General of Health, Ministry of Health
  •  Deputy Chief Delegate Ms A.L. Duncan Ambassador, Permanent Representative Geneva
  • Delegate Dr A. Old Head, Public Health Agency and Deputy Director-General, Ministry of Health
  • Alternate Mr S. Waldegrave Associate Deputy Director-General of Health (Policy) Ministry of Health
  • Ms L. Hetaraka Chief Nursing Officer, Ministry of Health
  • Mr N. Glassey Deputy Permanent Representative, Geneva
  • Ms H.L. Cassels Manager Global Health, Ministry of Health
  • Ms C. Van Bohemen Hunter Health Attaché, Permanent Mission, Geneva
  • Ms N. Maarleveld Senior Advisor, Global Health, Ministry of Health

New Zealand’s former Director General of Health, Ashley Bloomfield, co-chairs the Working Group for the amendments to the International Health Regulations.

Yes, that’s New Zealand’s former Director-General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, who drove the Government’s divisive vaccination programme and cold-heartedly refused pleas for medical exemptions.

Famously now, he pronounced in 2021 that the more people who were vaccinated, the greater the chance of herd immunity.


He also said: “The evidence is really clear that it protects not just you as an individual but those around you.”


In his new role he says, “COVID-19 showed us that having a good, strong set of International Health Regulations is essential, and showed where the current regulations need to be improved.”

Some people are justifiably very afraid.


Original article published by

30 AUG 2023




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