Hoeven Cosponsors Resolution to Protect U.S. Sovereignty, Ensure Senate Review of International Agreements

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven (R-N.D.) cosponsored a resolution introduced by Senator James Risch (R-Idaho) to ensure the president does not cede U.S. sovereignty to the World Health Organization (WHO). The resolution would make clear that any convention, agreement or other international instrument related to pandemic prevention, preparedness and response is a treaty, therefore requiring the approval of two-thirds of senators for ratification.

“It is imperative that the U.S. sets its own policies in accordance with the Constitution and based on the will of the American people,” said Senator Hoeven. “Our resolution would ensure the president cannot unilaterally enter into agreements with the WHO, bypassing the U.S. Senate in order to advance his agenda.”

“The United States is a sovereign nation that cannot cede power to the deeply-flawed World Health Organization for any future health emergency. The WHO failed to hold China accountable for the global spread of COVID-19, which killed over 1 million Americans and thousands of Idahoans. Giving it power over any future health emergency affecting the U.S. would be a disaster with potentially deadly consequences,”said Senator Risch. “This resolution makes clear the Senate must approve an international agreement – in any form – that requires new or expanded legal obligations in the U.S.”

This resolution comes in addition to legislation Hoeven helped introduce with Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), both in the 117th and 118th Congress, to push back on the WHO’s efforts to advance a new “international treaty for pandemic preparedness and response,” as well as provide more transparency in WHO agreements and establish a constitutional check on the Biden administration.


The World Health Assembly (WHA) is the decision-making body of the WHO. Following a decision by the WHA during its special session in December 2021, an intergovernmental negotiating body (INB) was formed to draft an international agreement to strengthen international pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response. The INB has developed a working draft for further negotiation and is expected to deliver a final agreement by May 2024.