Sound Science and the New International Health Regulations

Jonathan E. Suk

The new International Health Regulations (IHR) entered into effect in June 2007. In order to ensure cooperation and avoid disputes between WHO member states, the new IHR have “sound science” clauses. Yet history suggests that during public health emergencies of international concern, actors may seek to leverage scientific uncertainty according to their political interests. This paper argues that further deliberation about how to establish a robust, transparent and rapid dispute resolution procedure is needed.