- Motion: THS the creation of an international court with a mandate to prosecute leaders for health crimes
- Infoslide: For the purposes of this debate “health crimes” are massive violations of the international health codes. For example, the unwillingness to comply with the WHO’s regulations on dealing with pandemics, a significant violation of norms on the prescription of antibiotics, breaching the experimentation codes of ethics.
- OG: Ateneo 2
- OO: Zagreb A
- CG: LSE B
- CO: Ateneo 1
- Result: OO wins
Here’s the video: Korea WUDC 2021 Open Grand Final
This debate is transcripted by Jiansheng Zhang and Jen Taruno for the Debating 404 project.
Prime Minister: David Africa
It is crazy that when it is a bullet that takes the toll, we form courts; but when it is a bacteria, we throw up our hands and we forget like it never happened.
To be clear, what are we doing in this debate? Firstly, we broadly expect an international court to be created in alignment with the World Health Organisation. We expect this to be heavily supported by all the countries part of the WHO. We expect this to have the participation of scientists and experts to consistently write technical papers in order to inform our judgments, appoint judges from each country and so on. We also expect that participation in the WHO and receiving benefits like aid is conditional to being a party to this international court.
Why is this likely to be the manifestation of a court? I know Opp will challenge this. There are six reasons why we think countries will opt in and why this will be effective.
First, countries that do not consent to such an authority without themselves having some say in a negotiation of that body will obviously be revolting. So they would like to have some participation, given that this body will have some control over the world’s health resources no matter what.
Secondly, this is likely to be a broad worry that the international community is ineffective. They are likely to take these actions into their own hands because they want to make these decisions reasonable. They learn from the mistakes of previous international courts.
Thirdly, people generally care about health as an issue and they clearly want to be a participant in many things that clearly are on a global scale.
Fourthly, there is a selfish advantage to impose stringent regulations. Leaders now are unlikely to face the consequences of being punished as they are on their way out. They will benefit from the legitimacy this court provides if they’re authoritarian or whatever they are.
Fifthly, there’s also a game theoretic advantage in that you are harmed by other states in the case that a pandemic goes awry, so you want to hold other states to account.
Sixthly, many benefits you care about, like health education, cheap medical goods and so on, will be contingent on this court, and beyond that there are spillover effects like economic benefits that you might care about. So you want to be a party in this in order to receive the benefits of the WHO.
What crimes are we punishing? We look to examples like Bolsonaro being unwilling to comply with the recommendation for usage of masks and quarantine measures. We’re looking at the unwillingness of China to comply with WHO investigations on the Virology Institute of Wuhan. We’re talking about the hoarding of resources, such as vaccines, ventilators and so on.
Why do they commit these crimes? There are a variety of reasons we suspect they might do this. They might not be technologically equipped at that time, they might not have the right decision, or maybe the short term incentives are too powerful and they felt the need to sacrifice thousands of lives in the future to allay present fears.
We will impose punishments such as imprisoning leaders for extended periods of time, taking them out of power or asking them to be deposed. We’re okay with doing this during the crisis if it’s feasible to realign national incentives, but we expect in some cases for it to happen after the fact anyway.
POI CO: We’re also trying to create an international court for crimes against humanity. How successful has that been?
Answer: That’s a good question. Maybe you should answer that in your speech.
Argument 1: Benefits of encouraging countries to comply with health regulations
Note that this massively changes the incentives of leaders we identify in the set-up for all the reasons we give. We suspect this has gigantic benefits.
Firstly, on following the regulations on pandemics for things like Covid, potential future ones like SARS, preventable diseases like malaria.
First, we enjoin the prevention of future harm from occurring to people because measures are taken to overturn the short-term incentives to focus on keeping the economy afloat instead of the long-term incentive of acting early. We’re able to mobilise health forces to start early lockdowns in areas that would not have otherwise done it, which means that we prevent the massive spread of diseases while they are still easy to solve.
Secondly, this allows for effective healthcare responses. Actual policies imposed by the WHO are substantially more effective than the ones implemented on the ground because they have a greater breadth of resources such as health experts from all around the world who have access to various different contexts and so on.
Thirdly, they benefit from a cohesive response. Lockdowns and other policies become ineffective since pandemics don’t recognize borders. Even if the spread is very slow in one place, if it is open in another place, the spread might still continue. As such, we will have to keep that lockdown for as long as everyone has kept their borders open.
We also suspect the allocation of effective resources to where it’s most needed. It is crazy that in the Philippines, hospitals are missing ventilators, vaccines and beds, while there are storehouses full of them in the Western world. We suspect it would be a massive benefit simply to put resources from some countries to others and to allow access to these things at the threat of imprisoning people for hoarding resources for future potential gain.
Notably, this also deals with massive future benefits such as antibiotics. In the order of future potential lives, diseases that have no cure might potentially arise. They have built up an immunity to everything we could throw at them because we decided to spend our antibiotics on agriculture instead of protecting the lives of people. Reducing either the political incentive or the capacity for countries to do this — by taking away their resources and making them not part of the international organisation anymore — would massively benefit these individuals.
I want to impact this before we move on to the next part about enjoining trust. Firstly, in terms of scale, this is a policy on a gargantuan scale, heaving across hundreds of countries and ensuring that health resources are more adequately and equitably allocated to thousands of the world’s most poor. Secondly, in terms of gravity, this deals with some of the most vulnerable: those in rural areas without access to effective healthcare resources and those who are old and cannot take vaccines and rely on herd immunity. These are the people we protect.
Notably, this also has a secondary benefit that we think is equally important. The creation of a court causes trust to arise and appeases overall investment and participation in global health. The Opp’s reframe is that these courts are ineffective in the sense that they are toothless. Even if the WHO tells you to do something, you’re unlikely to follow it. But politicians want to be sure that they can hold other politicians to account so they are likely to manifest their will through this court. Moreover, no politician wants to look like they would fear like they’ll be imprisoned for committing a health crime, which means that they’ll also increasingly participate in this court.
This means that we have way more money, cooperation from local forces and participation in this international organisation. We amplify any of the benefits that we provide earlier, and they seem to be pretty big benefits. The end of this first argument is quite simple, we’re closer to saving the world.
Argument 2: This is principally important and legitimate
We suspect an argument to come out that you might subvert the democratic will of people. There are four reasons why this doesn’t happen and, notably, why this is also a principally legitimate thing to do.
Firstly, this organisation is consented to. Countries participate in the organisation and the ratification of such a treaty and a court. Moreover, they vote in politicians that do the negotiating for them.
Secondly, the healthcare that we propose is a fundamental right that exists as a precondition for the fulfilment of democratic will. If you are dying or do not have access to goods, it doesn’t matter if you might hypothetically access your will in the future if you don’t survive.
Moreover, an effective baseline in the first place is necessary. Regardless of whether or not democratic will is important, states have a responsibility to opt into situations where they allow for the preconditions for that will to exist and manifest in the first place.
Fourthly, we also identify that on the balance of rights, even if you fulfil your democratic will as a people, this often comes at the cost of other democratic rights that other individuals might have. So you as a Western country might be okay with having very lax quarantine measures, but people in surrounding countries who might be harmed by the infections that come out might still not have access to democratic will or consent to that in the first place. This is often very difficult for countries to face.
Two separate principle reasons as to why we think this is very good. On the level of utilitarianism, this deals with benefits on a gigantic scale. There are thousands and thousands of people who do not care about a whit of the democratic will or principled legitimacy without being given access to their lives. Secondly, this deals with people on a scale inordinately into the future, that is to say, future deaths to pandemics and superbugs from antibiotics. People would not have to spend massive amounts of money in order to support a basically overburdened and toppling international health system.
We suspect that these benefits are also quite large for three reasons. Firstly, there’s substantially more likely to be people in the future as the population is growing over time. Secondly, these people have no consent to what happened in the past. We have a responsibility to create an international court for these people in the future. Thirdly, we are taking mutually exclusive resources away from them, which is why we should care for them.
There are two reasons why the Opening Government wins this debate; firstly, we explain why we save the world; secondly, we explain why there is no other possible choice. Affirm.
Leader of Opposition: Tin Puljić
David tries to preempt why this court is going to look good. Unfortunately, he does it quite generically. Note all the other criminal courts which exist today, including the ICC, which controls the implementation of post-conflict reconciliation, and the ICJ, which controls the implementation of international law—which presumably countries have a same incentive to say in as he says they would here—are always based on opt-in opt-out treaties that you can leave out of with no ramifications.
The weighing here is clear. The influence you would have in such a body is quite diluted insofar as you are only one of the members. This is specifically augmented by the fact that the countries that are the most likely to not want to comply are the countries with the least amount of resources to be able to comply with these regulations. These are notably less developed countries, which means that their influence is in and of itself a priori smaller. Therefore, the risk of prosecution is more proximate and likely than you having influence.
It is incredibly likely that the countries which cause the most harm, as per Opening Government’s framing, are also the countries which are going to be likely to want to minimise risk and harm in terms of prosecution and not opt into this court. This means they a priori have a lot less efficiency in achieving their harms.
But on the comparative, the countries who do opt in are those who have no tradeoff: those who are able to enforce these policies already, which means two things: firstly, there’s a relatively small delta already; secondly, these countries are going to have a disproportionate say within the decisions of this court.
Before I move on to why that’s bad, let’s just make it clear that there’s no analysis from OG as to why this court has the ability to dictate global healthcare policy. It has the ability to prosecute, but there was no analysis on the likelihood of why it’s key in providing health resources and access globally. Therefore, both their impacts are minimised. It is also unclear why the extent of the influence or say that countries want to have in this court in the first place is likely.
Argument 1: Biassed and/or irrational decisions
What kind of decisions do we think this court is going to make, based on the characterization we provide? These are going to be biased and/or irrational decisions.
First of all, Western countries are the ones that are most likely going to have sway due to their political power and the lowest tradeoff of them opting in because they’re not getting prosecuted when they have the resources to implement these policies. This means the application of Western standards to less developed countries.
Note the ability to go to full lockdown is contingent on the development of your economy and your ability to transition to the internet and the digitalization of your country. Many countries physically cannot do this and keep their people alive. They need to balance between lockdown and economy.
This is contingent on the ability to finance more expensive studies. Very often you have to breach ethical protocols to develop medicines for things like malaria and dengue, if you don’t have the resources to do otherwise. You have to finance expensive street-level bureaucracy which is going to do oversight of these policies. Many developing countries don’t have that.
What is the weighing here? The weighing is that many less developed countries have a necessity to breach these policies in order to be able to implement any kind of healthcare policy. You put them between a rock and a hard place of deciding between prosecution and helping their people. And if you do additionally prosecute, you make them less able to implement any health policy in the first place.
Insofar as the countries deciding these policies are those who are least fucked up, I think they have less knowledge of what is happening on the ground and, therefore, they are more likely to implement more negative standards because they do not have the oversight of what’s going on.
Secondly, there are worse corporate and political interests. Note that the pharmaceutical market is an incredibly competitive one. Corporations have a market incentive to push for prosecution of companies or leaders in the developing world who are developing specific types of medicines which may be more accessible or a competition to them generally.
But there’s also political influence. A lot of us have been shitting on China’s Sinovac, Russia’s Sputnik or Cuba’s vaccines. Insofar as governments are just beholden to corporate lobbies and getting donations from these lobbies is a prerequisite to being able to run a national campaign in the first place and reach your electorate, there’s going to be a huge amount of political pressure to lobby against companies of countries that are within the developing world and to portray them as having bad standards or as not complying.
Very often, their only way to get healthcare provision to their people is to have this done locally, because it reduces shipping cost and reduces dependency on the West, and therefore also the ability of the West to leverage against them. The consequence of this is that you’re removing this from them. Insofar as they have local capacity to control healthcare issues, you’re making it worse. So the countries which are already worse off and have a lower amount of resources now just get their people dying. This directly flips the comparative of the Opening Government.
What is the comparative on the other side of the house? Not only do they create an incentive for leaders to cover up crises, which is just mitigation to their case insofar as they’re going to get less successful persecutions, they also incentivize less cooperation with WHO or even countries leaving it.
The average citizen within the electorate doesn’t know what the WHO does on the ground. The comparative for a leader then is that it is easy for them to formulate their populist narratives of how this is another Western-centric organisation implementing measures against us. Note how countries in the developing world reject the IMF even when its measures are good for them, and then try to comply with this. This means that they’re more likely to leave the WHO because their electorate will not react against this.
However, the consequences are going to be quite palpable. Because it means you have less access to grants. Less access to medical trials, less access to medical provisions, less cooperations with NGOs on the ground who are necessary for things like vaccine efforts.
The consequence is twofold. Again, more people die. But secondly, you create a perverse tradeoff for these countries insofar as they have to choose between either leaving the WHO and not being prosecuted to politicians’ selfish incentives or not implementing the only policies which work within their countries.
I think the clear comparative is here, there are other mechanisms to do this. We can export generic medicine at low prices. We can earmark development aid on the conditionality that certain conditions are met. We can give them access to specific research grants. We can give them targeted access to patents.
Why is this important? If there is an incentive as the Opening Government concedes, to solve these healthcare problems, these countries in the West realise it anyway. Firstly, it’s likely that the West will commit to our alternative mechanisms. Secondly, the leaders in developing countries are aware that all of the harms posited by OG—in terms of superbugs and antibiotics—fucks up their economy, and that shifts the comparative in this debate.
POI CG: Do you oppose humanitarian intervention to stop genocide in all cases considering it is at times selectively used and colored by the politics of great power states?
Answer: The answer to that, Hamza, is how well it’s done or how bad it’s done. I’ve explained why this will be done badly.
Argument 2: Why we think this harms these countries.
Note that the countries in the developing world are aware that they want to solve these problems. The comparative is they often don’t have the resources as I’ve explained.
What is the comparative on Government? They prosecute the inability to comply with policy. They do not provide a mechanism as to how they make these countries better able to comply with that policy. The alternatives we provide actually enable this and the same mechanisms as to why there’s a Western incentive to solve these problems works as to why the West would do our alternatives, therefore this solves it better.
The second reason why opting into a court is worse is because it reinforces narratives of colonialism and anti-Westernism, which makes countries less likely to comply.
Lastly, this reduces global buy-in in healthcare measures. We currently live in a world where Covid has spread an amalgamation of conspiracy theories. Living in a dystopia which people were never faced with before has created a huge amount of narratives as to why there’s a global enslavement plan. The creation of such a court gives huge amounts of munition to anti-vaxxers and conspiracy theorists saying “Yes, this is true. They’re literally trying to prosecute the people who do not want to execute the global plan”. Note how many people did not take AstraZeneca because blood clots are represented as a plan to cull the global population. Creating a global court feeds into the New World Order idiocy that is ruining the Covid vaccination plan right now.
I am so proud to wear this scarf and to oppose for Zagreb one very last time.
Deputy Prime Minister: Luigi Alcañeses
When Australia initiated an inquiry into the Wuhan Institute of Virology to determine the origins of Covid-19—whether it was a spillover from bats or pangolins or it was a lab leak from the largest storage of coronavirus samples in the world—China retaliated with significant sanctions on meat and other basic goods.
It is disgusting to see how your life is literally put at risk every single day on the basis of some concept of democracy, some trust towards the state or some leaders that you want to be able to elect. We elected them for other benefits. We didn’t elect them on the prospect of you dying. That is why the threat to killing more individuals is the most important thing in this debate and we cannot stand for that. That’s why justice has to have teeth and we have that at Gov.
I’m going to talk about two things in this debate. Number one, why this improves the capacity of the WHO and why the WHO becomes better on our side. Secondly, I have a lot of responses to LO.
Argument 1: Capacity of the WHO
Firstly, why does this improve the capacity of WHO. Remember that opposition is going to make the argument that there is the perception of the WHO being very elitist and western-centric, and that it doesn’t have a lot of funding for many countries because only rich countries fund it, which makes it harder for the WHO to operate. This specific mechanism, an international court, is going to make the WHO better in capacity in three significant respects.
Number one, the litigation process that LO was worried about. The problem of LO is that they assume that individuals and leaders will always want to delete evidence. But that’s always going to happen at a point in time where the pandemic becomes longer and longer. It’s harder for you to track the evidence as the evidence gets buried over time or because the scientists are able to go into hiding. Having the ability to inquire and formalise these investigations very early on, even on the basis of speculation, gives us the pressure to give this data to the WHO.
This is the preservation of evidence. More individuals and whistleblowers will be going to the ICH (and this is the International Criminal Court on Health, by the way) because they can get many of these benefits. Even opposition parties internal to these countries are also willing to buy in on our side. The ICH is able to do this because it incentivizes people and communities to overthrow many of the dictators and authoritarians within their countries because they will turn them over. Those same authoritarians are willing to give themselves up because they don’t want to die as well. So this is also a symmetric incentive for many of these individuals to buy in.
The example here is the Hague ruling. Even if we got a map of the South China Sea, that’s a good thing because for the WHO that means more data that they can use for other clinical trials in the future.
Number two, the pressures on other states to join in also creates an internal check and balance process to make the WHO more globally representative. The WHO will have more information on whether or not you can use face masks, or whether or not face shields are bad. You can have information more and more like how the WHO did when it learned that Covid was actually airborne. So even if we have a little bit more hesitant WHO, w’’re able to fact-check those conformations more and more. You don’t have to have this back-and-forth process of whether or not the WHO recommends that you should mix vaccines with each other, or have a third or a fourth dose. Because all of this information changes, we can change this with our process.
Number three, other countries do want to compete for a seat at the table, so you can leverage over these countries, like the China versus US debate. Their ability to have a vaccine race is phenomenal for the distribution of vaccines across the world. This is also one way the private sector and the public sector cooperate through Covax and the unique distribution that happens because of the international court.
POI CO: Will not having enough resources as a country or not having enough capacity to follow these regulations be a sufficient defence in this court?
Answer: It depends on the court. If the WHO gives you significant funding for not implementing antibiotics, and they tell you not to do that, then there is capacity for them not to do that. I think that’s definitely valid for you to give in that court.
Firstly, LO says that the ICC has failed in early instances, and it’s likely to feel on this side too. Two responses. Number one, health is a much more nonpartisan issue supported by the vast majority of communities in other states, rather than the history of war crimes being significantly disputed. Number two, we’re talking about instances of significant corruption, misuse of WHO funds or even significant misinformation in this context, like the Wuhan lab leak conspiracy that people do not have information on.
Secondly, LO says that you have to breach protocols to develop these vaccines. I have two responses. Number one, this actually can cause significant local distrust within your state. The populist leader might think it’s a good thing to be able to breach protocols, but it actually makes it worse internally within those states. For example, vaccine hesitancy happened in the Philippines because of the Dengvaxia Scare. The government said, “We want to have this vaccine rolled out now to be able to stop Dengue in the country,” but what happened is that it caused some side effects for some individuals. Because it was approved by the FDA and the WHO, it caused a spiralling effect of many of the health crises within the country. Number two, even now today we make less of these circumstances happen in the first place because as much as possible these courts and trials are going to be given to the ICH
Thirdly, LO says that you just literally can’t prosecute people because the WHO is never trusted. Two things. Number one, if states don’t think they will be prosecuted, that is the reason as to why they’ll buy in very early on into our policy. It’s likely to be more effective because they want to give more funds to WHO so that they can prosecute other cases in the future. Number two, now we give teeth to this court so that more individuals could be punished on our side as well.
Fourthly, LO says that many of these policies are accountable to corporations, and many of these politicians are already bought by them. If that is the case then you are saying they are indeed subverting the democratic will of the people and they’re not doing this for the just interest of these individuals, and therefore you have to have a greater principle as to why the state should intervene, or why other regional actors in the global crisis should have a say in this matter. This is why the democratic will of other states and their public health and safety is also more important in this case. Number two, corporations also want less instability in these instances because we also say that private incentives are there to make vaccines as safe as possible, given that when the public sector is failing. That’s why you’re also able to mitigate those processes on our side.
Fifthly, LO says that governments can use a populist narrative to purport this and these policies in the real world. Number one, they already do that right now. Look at Bolsonaro. Look at Duterte using a strong man narrative to implement draconian policies in these nations. It’s worse on their side because there’s no ability for you to prosecute these leaders during or even after the pandemic or even after the pandemics, so you can’t get this information. Number two, a lot of this trust for the WHO is also lost on their side because people actually trust doctors on our side more than the police or the military being able to implement the quarantine on their side.
Lastly, LO says that they can be accountable on their side. I don’t think this is true. The alternatives you posit of targeted access to patents is not much mutually exclusive. We can also implement that on our side. If the leaders are also incentivized to cater to the will of the people, then they will join our model as well. So our model is effective.
For one last time at this Worlds, Ateneo de Manila 2 is winning this championship. So no matter where you are from, and no matter what anyone else tells you, light up the sky and shine. Thank you.
Deputy Leader of Opposition: Lovro Šprem
There’s no greater incentive for a domestic government to deal with the pandemic in the best way it can than the internal incentives of the country. There are negative incentives for you if you mismanage pandemic domestically. Therefore, there is no “defence of no resources” whatever CO says because this is literally the status quo where these countries do not enforce these regulations. If they could, they would want to enforce them because this is politically beneficial domestically.
The comparative is lying and not disclosing information, as recognized by their side of the house. But given that this incentivizes countries to cover up more as the response might be persecution, the time sensitivity of this argument is very important, i.e. you can fix the cover-up of digging out bodies in crimes against humanity if it happens. Comparatively, if the pandemic is mismanaged and covered up, you can’t ask for international help because you are going to be prosecuted. This is a problem which tears down a huge part of OG’s case.
On the courts, they have no fiat to say what the courts will look like. The consequences of opt-out are largely developed in Tin’s speech. They have very little response to this. The biases and internal pressure by corporations in richer countries are also not dealt with. There is a disproportionate influence of larger and more developed countries for the reasons which we outline. There is a lower cost to richer countries opting in compared to countries where these national regulations are not held right now. Look at also the finances of the WHO. OG recognizes this but they don’t put any sort of counter argument. If the financing that is pulled out by the United States is a big problem for the WHO, why wouldn’t they have a disproportionate influence on the court? So richer countries are the ones who create the norms.
I recognize the preemptives here by OG. I just want to point out that we had a huge amount of argumentation which wasn’t responded to as well. But even if you buy all of the preemptives of how countries have an incentive to opt in to these programs to influence them, just ask yourself: Why are they not then opting into similar organisations, such as the ICC and the WTO? There is no responsiveness to this argumentation from our side of the house.
Large corporations, which are forced by national regulations to follow these protocols, have an incentive to influence the governments. Governments have an incentive to make these political and unrealistic requirements in an effort to boost their domestic production and export of medicines and their pharmaceutical industries, as well as their hospitals, research centres, etc. This is similar to what happens with political incentives in courts such as the WTO courts or the ICC, where it’s often not who is right but whether this is in the interest of the United States.
On increasing global healthcare benefits, there are largely three reasons why countries do not abide by these regulations in the status quo, even though they recognize that there are global benefits of doing so. First of all, there’s a collective action problem; secondly, they might be undercutting regulation for their own benefit; and thirdly, the costs are too high. Countries who are richer can offset and do indeed trade off these things efficiently in the status quo, such as with Covid, as well as with policies such as the climate.
The problem is that countries which are less rich do not have the ability to do so. Therefore, the characterisation is that the countries most affected are unable to follow the protocol or there are high tradeoffs that they are facing when following the protocols. They are prioritising their own well-being over the well-being of the global community. Given that their own well-being is a bigger benefit for them than the spill-over effect of the international global benefit, this largely benefits the richer countries, which do not have these internal costs but have the external benefits of less antibiotics used, etc.
The comparative here is that poorer countries are unable to conduct high standard trials or introduce measures to reduce antibiotics usage because of less hygiene conditions in their hospitals, a less educated population, and less availability to diagnose differential treatments for disease. This is a huge part of the reason why they are not abiding by the regulations—not to try to undercut costs or because they cannot solve the collective action problem—but rather because they have the incentive to benefit their population. This is very important: there are negative consequences for your country if you engage in this court. I already proved this, and they don’t dispute it. Therefore, the trade-off here is that the external costs to other countries is the one which you de-prioritize so that you prioritise your internal well-being.
Why is it legitimate for countries to do this? Because the opposite thing has happened in developed countries and gave them the upper hand which they are using right now. The development of the pharmaceutical industry and the economy is often time contingent on not internalising the negative effects on other countries but just looking at your own benefits: pulling doctors and researchers from developing countries to developed countries; industrial development that polluted these countries and cause them to remain underdeveloped; the exporting of instability for internal political purposes; and the monopolisation of the pharmaceutical market. So it is in very essence the same things which developing countries are trading off now that the developed countries have traded off before. This is why they are now in a position to do so right now.
The comparative from OG is one with more stick but less carrot because they don’t prove that it is enough to actually make countries enforce the policies. But they also decrease the incentives for countries to nudge and offer carrots to countries.
POI CG: OG says you stay because you want help from the WHO. OO says you leave because you don’t want to get punished. Why isn’t the obvious answer here to prevent this situation in the first place by creating global political buy-in for prevention strategies for the next pandemic?
Answer: This is what I’m going to come to next. It’s not so black and white. Some countries might stay; some countries might leave. But the problem is that you are making them unable to do the trade-off which they are doing right now, which is in their interest. That’s the bottom line.
The comparative is that there are ways in which we increase the compliance on these things in the status quo without the court: joint finding processes, cooperation with WHO, removing IP and patent laws that benefit the developed world, sustainable development goals set by the UN and development aid that is connected to increasing compliance. But these are more expensive and have a bigger cost that is incurred by developed countries in the status quo compared to just making regulation, where you just can prosecute countries that do not comply with it.
This has all of the incentives internally, but it is also easier from your perspective as a developed country than enforcing the compliance of developing countries. Therefore, this is a comparative which allows you to achieve the benefits sustainably with more costs for developed countries and fewer costs for developing countries.
Also proud to oppose for Zagreb one last time.
Member of Government: Taha Iqbal
OO’s counterfactual is removing IP laws and giving more money to these organisations. I have just one response to this: I don’t see why we can’t do any of this. But I’m going to flip this point, and argue that we actually have more political capital to take away all of these stringent regulations and increase the capacity of developing countries to fight pandemics.
This is where CO’s POI becomes important. At the point at which countries can provide defences that say, “Aha, we didn’t have capacity, guys. We can’t fight the virus, we can’t afford the vaccine.” This means that the WHO is under immense public scrutiny from across the world for not implementing these capacity-related policies. So we get much more political buy-in on our side of the house, when the WHO is explicitly attacked within the media, within policy circles, and by country representatives within the UN themselves.
I have three extraneous responses to OO’s material, and then I’ll go straight into our positive material. The first thing is with this idea of withdrawal. Withdrawal from this organisation is extremely unlikely for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, Covid is a mass event. You can’t just say this wasn’t an event. Millions of deaths happened across the world, and economies for the first time in a while were just not working at all. So countries are under immense pressure to do something about this.
Secondly, the media, academics, think tanks—everybody is scrutinising state level policy, so you have more scrutiny there. This is reflective of the fact that even China allowed the limited inspection still from the who in later early late later. When Biden got elected, he made lots of promises especially with things like Covax.
With regards to developing countries, I want to note that developing countries rely on the WHO not only for the Covax measures to fight the current pandemic, but they also rely on the WHO for things like polio vaccines to fight many other epidemics that are happening across the world. So it/s really unlikely that they’re going to be able to withdraw from this.
I’m going to take the best case scenario from Opposition and say this court is going to be extremely biased against the developing world and still prove why we take this debate over them. Before that, one specific piece of framing about why there is compliance.
First of all, you are depending on them to some degree. But also, the specific mechanism about leaders that OG misses is that the sanctions are personal. When the ICC or UNSC sanctions come up, leaders are much more willing to take them on because they displace the impacts of the sanctions on the population. These sorts of sanctions are directly related to their personal self, and this also means that political parties can replace them with other candidates, which oftentimes happens. So they want to keep their power and not be sanctioned.
So in terms of this, what are we going to do? The first thing we say is that within the developing world, we have the ability now to uniquely displace discursive blame on the WHO and western organisations to implement policies that are thoroughly unpopular but widely necessary. The second thing I’m going to talk about is why we get prospective attention to healthcare, following up with Hamza’s POI, and why we are much better at just making policy to prevent pandemics from coming up in the first place. So compliance isn’t even a metric in this debate.
Argument 1: Displacing blame
OG is right in that there are lots of incentives why countries want to combat Covid. But for developing countries specifically, there are competing incentives on the other side for why they can’t introduce very stringent policies. Look at lockdowns in India. You can’t do that because your economy is reliant on mass transport of labour and your labourers are reliant on their daily jobs. So there’s an economic incentive for the countries to not comply with the WHO. Also look at cultural practices like Eid across the world. It is impossible for Muslim countries to prevent their people from going to Eid celebrations or going to the mosque. This is why in the status quo in Opp’s world, you never get these kinds of stringent policies even though you have overall incentives to want to take down the virus.
What do we crucially do? We give these countries the ability to say, “The WHO is forcing us. The western world is forcing us. So they take away all sorts of accountability. They’re not going to be harmed in future elections or by internal policy thinkers for these policies
Why is this crucial then? We agree with OO that developing countries are extremely important because they are likely going to be the sites of future pandemics in the first place. There are three structural reasons for this: one regulatory mechanisms with regards to health care are extremely weak within developing countries; secondly, mass public knowledge does not exist with regards to how to combat disease or get treatment; thirdly, your cultural practices sometimes increase the chance of you getting the viruses, for example, when you are going to a mosque and then exposing the virus to lots of people.
Even if the court is extremely biased against developing countries, the fact that developing countries are going to be the ones that are harmed also means that these countries are unlikely to want to go for lax policies in the future. Even if one developing country is biasedly screwed over by the WHO, it will inform the rational decision making of state leaders of other developing countries. When one country goes down we are exposed to the same kinds of risk.
POI OO: Stopping pandemics locally is an interest globally because you don’t want them to spread. Insofar as that’s true, why do you give countries a bigger incentive to comply when we actually give them a carrot with six mechanisms?
Answer: It’s great. I told you why we get more carrots on our side in the first point of my framing in my speech. Secondly, it’s a short-term bias. You don’t know when the future pandemics are going to hit, so you don’t do prospective policy making. Again you still want to keep power for the cultural factors that I have focused on. Lots of muslims would rather lose their lives than not be able to pray. So people in these countries actually do make these calculations.
Why is this crucial? One, you need developing countries to prevent future pandemics. Again, the virus doesn’t know borders, so one country hit means other countries will be hit.
Argument 2: Prospective attention to health care
There’s an additional incentive we’ve now added for leaders, which is personal liability. So leaders are thinking, “Aha, if we don’t do these sorts of policies what will happen is we will personally be taken to court. We will personally go to jail or be sanctioned.”
Why is this crucial then? Now healthcare policies are issues that are low on voter voter issues right. For example, voters don’t care about things like investing in health care or future research that are in the long term. But leaders now have incentives and global buy-in to invest in these sorts of practices: to invest in research, making vaccines and better healthcare policies. They fear that they will be prosecuted when the next pandemic hits.
This is crucial. One, in developing countries the response to the pandemic has been, “Pump everyone with antibiotics.” The problem with that is that we are creating the next super germ because they are going to be resistant to any sort of antibiotics that we have. So we want a prospective policy now to prevent future pandemics, but also prevent future supergerm from coming up.
For all these reasons, very proud to propose.
Member of Opposition: Mikko Vitug
This debate cannot be won in the fringes, i.e., OO cannot win the debate by just saying that all countries will pull out and therefore there is no net effect. Nor do I think that you can say that the people who do not have the capacity do not have a fair defence. I will engage with the best case on Government bench, where there is significant buy-in and where this significantly changes the capacity of the WHO to operate and therefore makes the response to health crises worse.
Argument 1: Risk of prosecution
I’ll argue two things. Firstly, I want to talk about the risk of prosecution. It is the specific incentives of leaders that this debate must be won on, as opposed to general claims about international institutions, and therefore are going to make the WHO operate less effectively. There’s the preemptive interest for countries to change the legal standards by which they can be held liable on their side of the house because the incredibly stringent and effective measures that Government bench might want are future threats to their capacity to operate.
Firstly, a lot of WHO standards are currently not the best, and therefore just having this method of legal enforcement is not always effective. For example, they said Covid was a flu but at the same time put incredibly stringent methods of locking down on H1N1. Why is this the case? It is because uniquely with health crises, you have a physically changing nature of information, such that the incredibly fast and quick action that Gov bench wants is not always the best thing to do. You also have the evolving biological nature of disease. With the rise of variants, it changes what regulations are best at. Therefore, either you don’t act as quickly as Gov bench wants you to act, or it’s simply not likely to adapt to the times as well as they can.
Secondly, we are trending towards making this better by allowing the information and data collection process and the research necessary. This is for the same natural incentives that Government wants i.e you want to be able to create global buy-in for this, which is not mutually exclusive in order to deal with pandemics.
How does this change, however, on Government bench? Three things.
Firstly, you’re likely to refuse to research things like best practices. Once you can be legally held binding for such things, it becomes a threat to your power, and therefore you’re unlikely to want to do this.
Secondly, it’s defunding things like the nature of the disease, so that you can buy as much time as possible to understand your own personal strategy of how to deal with the pandemic. You don’t have to defund this within your own state, but can refuse to share that information with other states such that you can have a good strategy to deal with Covid-19. But other states cannot possibly hold you legally liable for not being able to deal with it because they did not know at the time how to be able to do so.
Thirdly, it’s not just hiding data and evidence as OO suggests. It is refusing to engage in the data collection process. There was an incredibly large problem with many developing states with the inability to collect information and data that makes courts unable to gather evidence that could potentially hold countries liable. So these are things like mass testing to look at where the disease exists, etc. I would say that it becomes far, far worse on their side of the house.
Why is it incredibly dangerous? Firstly, a lot of the regulations you could be held liable for on Gov could be potentially terrible, i.e., they could not have potentially adapted to the times. If they did, they took way too long as opposed to today where you’re not afraid to hold people legally liable and potentially make some recommendations, as opposed to the fear and political threat that those kinds of recommendations imply on Government side of the house. Secondly, these health issues are global issues. Insofar as there are local incentives to want to find out more about diseases, we do not want to create global waste to be able to consolidate that information. Therefore, because they cannot hold you legally liable, this significantly deters the global buy-in argument that comes from CG.
I want to note how important that is. Diseases and pandemics are fought in the capacity of countries to work together, share data and information with one another, look at the changing nature and how it might affect different states, or look at how it has uniquely affected their state because it reached there first. Because you do not want other countries to potentially hold you legally liable. It is either the threat of defunding this research, its complete removal, or simply not wanting to share this information. The short term political incentives that Government bench says are incredibly terrible still apply to these leaders, and therefore would not preemptively want to allow these legal standards to exist.
Argument 2: Process of prosecution
The second thing I want to talk about is the process of prosecution. The only time where you don’t have an incentive to solve a large threat to health is when there are overwhelming democratic incentives to do otherwise.
The first thing I want to say, therefore, is that it’s unfair why health is a priori. We have the ICC because there is no moral alternative that is possible as opposed to simply trying to stop and prevent genocide. However, with health, there are many developing countries where issues of the economy and lockdowns are incredibly likely to stifle them fundamentally, or where there are many people that exist with rural areas, and therefore the spread of disease and the threat of epidemic is not the same degree as it might be globally.
What this proves is that these are not a priori values especially in times of pandemic and large global health crises, where it’s incredibly difficult to make decisions and leaders are constrained by their own populace. It is therefore unclear why you ought to be held legally liable for this. Nor is it fair for the people who clearly have other priorities and interests. I don’t think that Gov bench can say at all instances health is the only thing that matters to specific groups of people.
Secondly, they say this displaces blame. This is terrible because if it is not your fault, firstly you cannot accept any kind of legal accountability, but secondly it is also just not within your political interest. If you can say that it is the fault of other states and the WHO, this is no longer a winning political battle for you to want to invest in solving these kinds of pandemics. In fact, I would argue countries will either overblow the importance of other things which now balances it out of power or deny the disease, saying it is not true, saying that we cannot engage in this process because other countries have forced it on us. This therefore changes their fundamental political incentives.
POI OG: Your carrot of data collection or OO’s money requires resources which, as we established, states are unwilling to provide without assurance. On your side, you somehow rely on leaders covering a crisis of national import, which sounds like something we make illegal anyway.
Answer: So the first thing I want to note is that this characterization assumes their best case where there’s a degree of capacity and, therefore, resources exist and that’s probably the biggest delta in the debate. On either side, for the countries that are completely unable, it’s unclear whether or not there’s net action that exists, nor whether or not they have the capacity to change these WHO standards.
Lastly, you fundamentally incapacitate leaders who are most needed at this time. Most ICC trials exist after the humanitarian crisis. There are two options on Government bench. The first one is that you allow these trials to exist at the period of crisis that stop these people from operating. Secondly, look at how ICC trials often go. People do not just show up and allow themselves to be imprisoned. A lot of the time they hide in other states that allow them to seek refuge. A Lot of the time they do not want to be legally found and caught to be able to ensure that the who and this new court is able to take them out of their power. So, you fundamentally make states sitting ducks, especially if you want to access this benefit at the start of pandemics where it is most crucial for action to occur.
What this proves then is that either you change the standards of the WHO and any system of enforcement on Gov, or you enforce incredibly terrible laws, or you’re simply unable to meaningfully do any of this.
It is my absolute honour to share this debate with people I look up to and the best of friends—these are things that only happen in the movies. I genuinely have never been so lucky and so proud to oppose.
Government Whip: Hamza Tariq Chaudhry
This debate can only occur if a pandemic happens. If a pandemic happens and the leader does not correspond to the incentives of the WHO, either on OG’s side they stay within the WHO because they have corollary incentives, or on OO’s side they withdraw.
Taha uniquely shows to you that we prevent the next pandemic from occurring in the first place because both sides have incentives to do so. You don’t want to be punished by the who and create an international mess, but you also want the WHO on your side, which means that you have global political buy-in for prevention strategies. This had no response from CO, and I cannot stress enough the impact of this extension. This means that after Covid-19, if we can even delay the next pandemic by 20 or 30 years, that’s potentially tens of millions of lives saved in our world.
Response to CO
The first thing that I want to do is to rebut the intuition about preemptive legal measures. Firstly, this relies on the same mechanisms as OO. It’s only that the impact is legal reframing as opposed to hiding data. Secondly, this doesn’t respond to our prevention stuff. Why would you preemptively regulate the WHO when you could be like, “Guys, let’s not get in this situation in the first place. So just funnel billions of dollars across the world into stopping the next pandemic so that we never even have to have this debate in the first place.”? This means our extension occurs upstream of what closing opposition is talking about.
Secondly this completely contradicts OO’s analysis. OO’s analysis was that the rich world countries will have incentives to impose very very harsh regulations on the poor world, whereas their analysis is that not everyone will get together and then they will deregulate the WHO. I can only possibly respond to one of them. That’s a classic double burden that they’re putting on Government bench.
But finally, I want to respond to their health a priori argument—“You know, health can be solved in other ways.” The first thing i want to point out is a genocide only occurs within one state, whereas health occurs everywhere. So if anything, the ICC is actually less important than the WHO here because of the impact scale. If Modi kills 100 million people in India, he might also by proxy kill a billion people across the world by letting the Delta variant spread. Secondly, I want to make a principal response here. You don’t choose to be born in Nairobi, Lahore, or wherever you are right now. Why should you be the victim to your state’s incompetence? If your state is consistently incompetent and making you unsafe, then the international community has to step in protect your right to health, and make sure that your right to life is also consequently protected.
Response to OO
The first thing I’m going to do is weigh us against OO. The first thing here, which I think is really really important, is this intuition about how states will withdraw. Firstly, I’ve already told you that the obvious incentive here is not to withdraw, but to prevent a situation where you would want to be drawn in the first place. So our argument occurs upstream of OO.
Secondly, you know what, we say, fair enough. Even if states have incentives to withdraw primarily because they’ll blame like these Western governments, that’s a reason to enforce mechanisms. That’s precisely what they missed from our side. Pakistan does this all the time by the way. Whenever they have to instate monetary policies that no one likes, they’ll be like, “We have to do it because the IMF said so. We’re really sorry guys. These guys are really evil. Deaths to America.”
We want that stuff on our side. That’s great. We want domestic governments to blame foreign institutions as much as possible because it’s only then that the leaders have incentives to be very responsible and stringent with lockdowns. Bhe end point blame isn’t going towards them the end point blame is going towards this foreign demonic organisation. This means that on the two-level game between the state and the international organisation, we’re much more likely to get enforcement.
Finally, let’s say that only the developed world criticises only the developing world. Taha completely frames this out by saying that most pandemics come from the poor world. He gave you several structural mechanisms for this: (a) the complete lack of regulation in these places; (b) a lack of public health awareness; and (c), and I’m sorry this will sound problematic, but the inherent tie between certain cultural practices and pandemic spread. This looks like, for instance, wet markets in China being responsible for two of our largest pandemics in the last three decades. This looks like Ebola practice is linked to Zoonotic virus spread in so far as we eat many animals within Sierra Leone. I don’t know how else to say this. So even if we are only prosecuting the poor world, that’s a lot more pandemic stopped in the future insofar as that’s where most of the pandemics come from. So, we assume all of the analysis is true and still win.
On OO’s counterfactual. One, if you want to funnel billions of dollars into the developing world, be my guest. In fact, I will do it with you because that’s completely symmetric. Two, Taha shows you something very unique and this responses to CO as well. He says we completely agree that legal capacity is a thing. I can’t go to jail for committing a crime if I didn’t have the capacity and I couldn’t help but not commit the crime. That’s literally true. So the WHO will consistently lose court cases on our side unless it funnels in the money. This is really really important. So we create unique political buy-in on our side to make sure that WHO’s ass is covered by the point at which it does deregulate vaccines, it does ensure the global buy-in of public health awareness, and it does funnel in money and technical expertise because that’s the only way it stands a chance on winning these cases in the first place.
POI OO: Even though this debate is not just about pandemics, today we see visceral images of bodies dying of Covid in India and Brazil. We know if we don’t stop this, the pandemic will continue globally.
Answer: This is really interesting because the intuition pump here is that OG’s policy is not needed because there is no need. It’s classic World Schools debating. There are two responses to this. The first response to this is if this is true, we just don’t prosecute people. We’re not compelled to prosecute people left, right, and centre. If countries have structural reasons to have responsible behaviour in the first place, then prosecution literally never occurs. Secondly, the info slide literally says “mass health crime violations.” We’re literally talking about you doing something extremely horrible. It’s not like countries slightly screw up and they’re like, “Well, gotta go WHO.” If there are structural incentives to improve your behaviour, you will do that on our side. And also our stuff on the counterfactual.
Response to OG
Finally, how do we win against OG? We win against OG because we don’t rely on proving that incentives don’t exist to withdraw. We accept OO’s analysis and say incentives do exist to withdraw. But one, you can flip this analysis by showing that you can now blame a foreign actor. Two, you create mass capital for prevention strategies which stops future pandemics. This is not only a lower burden of proof that we have to prove, but helps infinitely more people than OG. Third and finally, we don’t rely on proving that this policy won’t be selectively exercised. Even if this policy is selectively exercised, what that leads to fundamentally is pandemics being stopped where unfortunately they are most likely to come from.
The final thing I respond to is this intuition about how colonialism causes these pandemic. If that’s true, let’s hear it in a public court. Let’s have the New York Times talk about it. It’s only when Sierra Leone’s leaders come out and say, “The reason we don’t have health capacity is what the US did a century ago” is when this is talked about in the public courtroom. Whereas right now, it’s only talked about balkanized academic spaces. That’s when we get more public discourse on the West’s responsibility towards the rest of the poor world.
Panel, you do not choose where to be born, and if your state is compromising your right to health, then the international community has an inherent right to step in. In defence of that right, I am so proud to propose.
Opposition Whip: Ignacio Villareal
A lot of people thank other people in the round. I’ll thank, again, myself because I’ll be incredibly charitable to the Proposition team. Government’s case is quite simple. They say that the standards are good, and therefore the court is able to enforce these standards and get better health outcomes. There are two ways to respond to this. The first is dealing with the issue of enforcement which everyone else in the round wanted to deal with, suggesting that they’re unlikely to buy into the court or people are unlikely to get in.
Response to CG
The first thing I want to do is deal with the CG’s case. The first thing they say is that it’s a pandemic, and therefore there’s a politically opportune time to make people think about the policies that exist right now. Even if you believe this to be true, there is a time limit to this benefit. Over 10, 20 or 30 years from now, when the pandemic becomes a far-off memory for a lot of individuals, the political incentives that they identify are likely to buy out. Therefore, the incentives to pull out from this by leaders who are afraid of potential prosecution in the future increase significantly. That is why even if countries signed into the ICC, for example, later on it became politically inconvenient for them to do so, and they pulled out, c.f., when the Philippines pulled out of the ICC.
Secondly, even if you believe that the political nature is all about talking about the pandemic right now, that doesn’t prove that they care about international institutions as a solution to the pandemic. In fact, a lot of countries blame international institutions and try to delegitimize the WHO and say they’re the problem, or blame other countries like pointing to China so that they’re able to remove blame. So, it’s unclear whether or not people are actually in favor of global cooperation as opposed to more ultra-nationalistic sentiments, for example, by closing off borders or stopping cooperation with other countries because they’re potential threats. So, it’s not sufficient for CG to just say it’s the time of Covid and therefore they are able to pass policies to become successful.
The second mechanism they provide is, “Ah, this gives leaders a mechanism because now they can say, ‘we’re doing it because we’re forced by the international community.’” One, this assumes that people being forced to follow international guidelines when they don’t want to do so is politically acceptable for a lot of individuals. A lot of leaders are strong man individuals. Looking like you have to count out international institutions actually makes you more politically unpopular, and therefore you are less likely to support it. Secondly it assumes that you have an innate desire to pursue the policy in the first place and they’re just not doing so. Insofar as you’re afraid of prosecution, it’s unclear why they have that innate desire as a leader to participate in these policies in the very first place.
The last major claim coming from CG is, “We’re able to create prospective policies.” That will be nicely clashed with their arguments on standards and why standards have become significantly worse under their side of the house. But before that, I want to deal with the OG’s mechanisms and enforcement.
Response to OG
The problem with OG is they list a lot of reasons why you might want to participate in international cooperation, but all these benefits are macro-benefits to the state. That is to say, things like economic aid, economic trade, and being able to access things like vaccines from the WHO will benefit your state. This is indirectly beneficial to an individual leader because you only care about that insofar as it makes you more politically accepted.
The potential threat of prosecution to you directly as a leader, however, is a direct harm to yourself. And that’s why it’s a significantly more important swaying mechanism. So even if OG is correct in that there’s some reasons as to why leaders would want to opt into it, the fact that they can be put in jail is probably a greater reason than any other of this because of the incentives of political leaders. That’s why it’s unlikely for you to get the enforcement that OG and CG tries to argue.
POI OG: If countries are afraid of accidentally being blamed for discovering some new health research, they must be more afraid of deliberate action to hide evidence and prevent research. But at least our side has some way to find out the truth and meet our assurance.
Answer: I know it’s like lame to say “I’ll respond to that later,” but I promise that I will prove to you why that responds to OO but not CO.
Secondly, even if you believe that you get enforcement under their side, you have to assume that the standards that you’re enforcing are actually good, and that was what CO’s case was able to challenge.
Firstly, we explained to you that the current standards of the WHO right now aren’t even clear to be the best, and a lot of times they’re more problematic. For example, the WHO flip-flopped under standards on masks. Because of the different local contexts of different regions, it’s unclear whether it’s actually a good thing to have a universalized policy that applies to all as opposed to trusting leaders who care most about the best for their people. In which case you’re holding people accountable to standards that might even make the country worse. That’s not only principally unjustified, but if your policy works, it makes far worse outcomes on the directed house. There are zero materials from the Government bench while the WHO are all these experts that they claim are the best arbiters of truth and the solutions that they want to have on their side.
Secondly, and this is where we become very very charitable, even if you believe that the standards are good right now, what CG barely responds to is the claim that it will make the standards worse.
Firstly, we point out that right now—and this is how I respond to OG’s POI—you have an incentive to not research on best practices because you want to have a lot of these best practices you’re held onto. Secondly, you might even have the perverse incentive to try to counter knowledge on whether or not it is good to have a lot of antibiotics, for example, because it might be politically profitable for you, or to justify why you need to have a lot of experiments that challenge ethical standards. These things exist and work in CO because they are not going to be prosecuted by this policy.
So, OG might be correct in that you’ll prosecute people for deliberately hiding information during a pandemic, but in the discussion of standards you ought to have to be democratic. If not, presumably the standards will not evolve on their side. Therefore, this is a time where it’s crucial for us to develop as much information as possible that you deny the incentive for them to do so under their side of the house. This means that you might have global buy-in to standards, but the standards are unlikely to become effective. You’re likely to have them watered down significantly.
The comparative under our side is: insofar as there are some countries that care about WHO protocols or want to follow a lot of information that exists on their side, that incentive still exists. But at least you’re able to have the best information and develop the best practices possible on our side of the house. Secondly, even if you’re not able to successfully challenge the standards by threatening to pull out funding, for example, the fact that they’re trying to do things like misinformation campaigns, for example, prior to the pandemic is the harm that we want to identify under our side of the house.
Response to OO
Why do we, then, beat OO? The OO’s case largely hinged on people not buying into this. Even if you believe that people buy into this policy we’re likely to be able to win under their side of the house. Secondly, we engage even beyond poor countries. What is the only response coming from CG? First they say it’s the same as OO. I just proved why it’s different. Secondly, they say it’s contradictory to OO because OO suggested that they’ll impose stringent policies. If you listen to OO, they suggested that the ICH will impose a lot of the policies that are very very stringent, and that’s why the developing countries are likely to respond by trying to pull down these standards and destroying the global consensus on what standards ought to be. The last thing they then say is, “Ah, it’s okay to deal with the developing world.” Our case does not work only in the developing world. China or the United States have their own incentives to develop bio-weapons, for example, and presumably they also have the incentive to change a lot of the standards.
The problem in this debate is that they assume that these standards are good. CO pointed out the reality, and that’s we’re very proud to take this championship.