Technology expert Michael Rectenwald, PhD, told The Defender that a digital passport system under the guise of preserving freedom “means restrictions on movement and living for the unvaccinated and forced vaccination to participate in life.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the European Commission – the executive branch of the European Union (EU) – launched a“landmark digital health partnership” on Monday, marking the beginning of the WHO’s Global Digital Health Certification Network (GDHCN) to promote a globally interoperable digital vaccine passport.
Starting this month, the WHO will adopt the EU’s system for digital COVID-19 certification “to establish a global system that will help facilitate global mobility and protect citizens worldwide from ongoing and future health threats, including pandemics,” according to Monday’s announcements from the WHO and the European Commission.
The WHO and European Commission claim that the GDHCN initiative, which has been in the works since 2021, “will develop a wide range of digital products to deliver better health for all.”
The organisations say the WHO will not collect individuals’ personal data via these digital passports – they say such data collection “will remain the exclusive domain of governments.”
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised the new agreement:
“Building on the EU’s highly successful digital certification network, WHO aims to offer all WHO Member States access to an open source digital health tool based on the principles of equity, innovation, transparency and data protection and privacy.
“New digital health products under development aim to help people everywhere receive quality health services quickly and more efficiently.”
However, experts who spoke to The Defender said the implications of such a system on human liberty and freedom of movement were a cause for concern.
Independent journalist James Roguski told The Defender that the WHO is not waiting for the successful conclusion of these negotiations to implement initiatives such as a global digital vaccine passport. He said:
“The announcement by the WHO and the European Commission of the launch of their digital health partnership was hardly a surprise. Over a month ago, the WHO quietly announced that they were working to ‘operationalise’ the very things that were being ‘negotiated’
“This is just one example that clearly shows that the super-secret ‘negotiations’ on the International Health Regulations (IHR) are a farce.”
Michael Rectenwald, PhD, author of“Google Archipelago: The Digital Gulag and the Simulation of Freedom”, told The Defender that a digital passport system under the guise of preserving freedom “means restrictions on movement and life for the unvaccinated and forced vaccination to participate in life.”
The announcement of the collaboration between the WHO and the European Commission came just days after the conclusion of the WHO’s annual World Health Assembly (WHA).
While the pandemic treaty and IHR amendments were not finalised at this year’s meeting, senior WHO officials warned of the risk of a future pandemic and the spread of a deadly“disease X” and expressed the need to“limit personal freedoms” during a future health crisis.
The EU has been a strong advocate of digital vaccine passports, which were first launched for member states at the end of 2020 – at the same time as the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccines – under the name “Green Pass” The EU’s experience with the digital passports is reflected in Monday’s announcement, which states:
“One of the key elements of the EU’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been digital COVID-19 certificates. To facilitate free movement within its borders, the EU quickly established interoperable COVID-19 certificates.
“Based on open source technologies and standards, it also provided the ability to connect non-EU countries issuing certificates… and it became the most widely used solution in the world.”
Roguski told The Defender that the EU was also among the strongest advocates for vaccine passports during the ongoing negotiations on the WHO’s “pandemic treaty” and amendments to the IHR.
“They really want the global digital health certificate,” Roguski told The Defender in March. “It’s coming from the European Union first and foremost.”
“Pandemic passports are a death sentence for millions
According to Roguski, during the negotiations on the IHR amendments, the EU put forward proposals that seek to “‘normalise’ the implementation of a global digital health certificate.”
The Czech Republic called for Passenger Locator Forms that “contain information about the traveller’s destination”, preferably in digital form, for contact tracing purposes.
They also suggested that the WHO Health Assembly “in collaboration with the International Civil Aviation Organisation [ICAO] … and other relevant organisations, may adopt the requirements that documents in digital or paper form must meet in terms of interoperability between information technology platforms, technical requirements for health documents, and security measures to reduce the risk of misuse and forgery.”
WHO mentions ICAO as an officially recognised “stakeholder”
The Czech Republic and the EU proposed documentation not only for vaccination, but also “test certificates and cure certificates” in cases “where a vaccine or prophylaxis has not yet been made available for a disease for which a public health emergency of international concern has been declared.”
Plans for the WHO GDHCN have been in the works since at least August 2021, when WHO released a document titled“Digital documentation of COVID-19 certificates: vaccination status: technical specifications and implementation guidance, 27 August 2021.”
“The Secretariat has developed SMART (standards-based, machine-readable, adaptive, requirements-based and testable) guidelines for digital documentation of COVID-19 certificates that include recommendations on data, digital functionality, ethics and trust architecture needed to ensure interoperability between immunisation and health registries globally.”
The WHO also announced the successful completion of a “technical feasibility study for establishing a connected global trust network, which tested the ability to interoperate health content and trust networks across existing regional efforts.”
EU officials have often praised themselves for the launch of the EUGreen Pass, emphasising how individuals’ privacy would be protected in the app. The introduction of the Green Pass was accompanied by statements from European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who called for a “discussion” on mandatory vaccinations in the EU.
One of the EU’s stated priorities as part of the five-year plan 2019-2024 is to create a“digital identity for all Europeans“, meaning that all citizens and residents of the EU should have access to a “personal digital wallet”, which will contain national ID cards, birth and medical certificates and driving licences.
These proposals and initiatives appear to be closely linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and in particular target 16.9, which calls for everyone, including newborns, to have a digital legal identity by 2030.
Tedros said the SDGs are “our north star” when speaking at this year’s WHA.
Rectenwald called “pandemic passports” a “death sentence for millions.” He stated the following to The Defender:
“Despite the studies showing that vaccines to curb pandemics have been deadly and useless, the WHO is doubling down on vaccine mandates.
“Pandemic passports equal a death sentence for millions and the cancellation of rights for those who don’t comply. The WHO should be stopped before it completes the construction of a global totalitarian system.”
Originally published on The DefenderSuggest a correction