WHA60.1thumbnail image

Language: English

World Health Assembly (WHA) Resolution 60.1: Smallpox Eradication: Destruction of Variola Virus Stocks


The 60th World Health Assembly introduced resolution 60.1 which both affirmed the eventual goal of eradictating all remaning stocks of variola virus and mandated the WHO to inspect the two authorized repositories for variola virus (CDC in Atlanta, GA, USA and VECTOR in Novosibirsk, Russian Federation) every two years to ensure that the virus stoage conditions met the biosafety and biosecurity requirements.


World Health Assembly (WHA) Resolution 60.1 mandates that the World Health Organization (WHO) inspect the two authorized repositories of variola virus (smallpox virus) every two years. The resolution also requests that reports of those inspections be made publicly available. The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has one authorized repository of the virus in Atlanta, GA, USA and Vector: Ministry of Public Health and Social Development of Russian Federation State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology has the other authorized repository in Novosibirsk, Russia. WHO has made reports of the inspections available at the link provided in this resource’s documentation. 

The file provided includes a description of all the proceedings at the Sixtieth World Health Assembly (WHA). The WHA takes place every May at the United Nations (UN) in Geneva Switzerland and is attended by delegates from all 194 UN Member States. There was an additional WHA in November 2021. While several resolutions were passed during the 60th WHA, we believe that WHA 60.1 is of particular interest. WHA 60.1 may provide a precedent for international standards intended to prevent the escape of highly dangerous pathogens from labs. It may therefore be relevant to international legislative leaders.