Negotiations on new rules for dealing with pandemics are underway at the World Health Organization (WHO), with a target date of May 2024 for a legally binding agreement to be adopted by the U.N. health agency's 194 member countries.

A new pact is a priority for WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who at the U.N. agency's annual assembly called it a "generational commitment that we will not go back to the old cycle of panic and neglect." It seeks to shore up the world's defenses against new pathogens following the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed nearly 7 million people.

What is the so-called Pandemic Treaty?