Today I sent a letter to the Federal Health Minister requesting greater clarification on proposed changes to the International Health Regulations by the WHO.

The proposed changes can be found here.

The Hon. Mark Butler MP
Minister for Health & Aged Care
PO Box 6022
Parliament House

11th January 2023

Dear Minister,

I write to seek what the Australian Government’s stance is regarding the proposed amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR) which are being reviewed by the Working Group on Amendments to the International Health Regulations (WGIHR) in a closed session 9 – 13 January 2023.

These amendments are set out on the following website: WGIHR_Compilation-en.pdf ( In particular, I wish to draw to your attention to proposed changes in the ‘Article 1 Definitions’ of the term “standing recommendation” and “temporary recommendation” where the words ‘non-binding’ relating to advice issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO) have been deleted.

Does the removal of these words imply that WHO regulations will now become legally binding? It would seem unprecedented under International Law for any unelected supranational bureaucracy to impose laws on sovereign countries.

Will this proposed amendment, or any other proposed amendment, by the WGIHR give greater authority or influence to the WHO on matters pertaining to health decisions made by the Australian Government or the Australian people?

Your prompt reply is greatly appreciated.

Kind regards,
Gerard Rennick

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