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The adoption of the International Health Regulations (2005) (also referred to as IHR(2005) or the revised Regulations) provides a remarkable new legal tool for the protection of international public health. Upon entry into force on 15 June 2007, Article 2 (‘Purpose and scope‘) provides that the overall focus of the efforts of States Parties (and World Health Organization's efforts) under the revised Regulations will be to prevent, protect against, control and provide a public health response to the international spread of disease in ways that are commensurate with the public health risks and which avoid unnecessary interference with international traffic. Health measures under the revised Regulations will be implemented with respect for travellers’ human rights, with several specific new requirements in this area. To comply with the IHR (2005), States Parties (WHO member states that will be bound by the IHR(2005)) will have to have core public health capacities in disease surveillance and response, as well as additional capacities at designated international ports, airports and land crossings. This unique collective commitment will require close collaboration between WHO and the States Parties, but also intersectoral collaboration within the States themselves, including collaboration among different administrative or governmental levels, a particular issue for federal states, and horizontally across ministries and disciplines. Collaboration among States Parties is a key aspect of the revised Regulations, whether among neighbours, or with trading partners, members of regional economic integration organisations or other regional groups, or simply members of the international community. This collaboration is particularly relevant for the Member States of the European Union.


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