Vaccine passports, digital IDs, and a global government have long been discredited as conspiracy theories by fact-checkers and mainstream media. But reality is catching up fast with these so-called conspiracies: on November 18th, at the APEC summit, French President Emmanuel Macron pronounced that “we need a single global order;” a few days earlier, on November 16th, participants at the G20 summit agreed upon the idea of vaccine passports.
Specifically, the final statement released by the G20 states in paragraph 23 that the G20 “support the WHO mRNA Vaccine Technology Transfer hub” and acknowledges “the importance of shared technical standards and verification methods, under the framework of the IHR (2005), to facilitate seamless international travel, interoperability, and recognizing digital solutions and non-digital solutions, including proof of vaccinations.” According to the statement, all this serves “efforts to strengthen prevention and response to future pandemics,” and aims to “build on the success of the existing standards and digital COVID-19 certificates.” An updated report of the summit mentioned the “endeavor to move towards interoperability of systems including mechanisms that validate proof of vaccination.”
A week prior to the G20 meeting, at the B20 summit, Indonesia’s health minister, Budi Gunadi Sadikin, had also called for the adoption of a “digital health certificate using WHO standards,” and announced plans to introduce a vaccine passport into the international health regulations during the next assembly of the WHO. “Let’s have a digital health certificate acknowledged by WHO—if you have been vaccinated or tested properly—then you can move around,” the health minister said during the summit.
Such demands, however, run contrary to earlier suggestions of the WHO itself. In August 2021, the WHO released guidelines on the implementation of vaccine passports in which the WHO warned that “a health pass based solely on individual vaccination status may increase the risk of disease spread.” This assumption was confirmed in recent months when revelations that the COVID-19 vaccines did not prevent transmission or infection came to light. However, preventing spread of disease provides only partial justification for the passport; the World Economic Forum had promoted vaccine passports “by their nature” as “a form of digital identity” as recently as February 2022.
The promotion of vaccine passports by the G20 was followed up only two days later by French President Emmanuel Macron’s call for a one-world government during a speech at the APEC summit in Bangkok. Macron compared the world stage to a jungle and referred to the United States and China as two big nervous elephants between whom the rest of the west would have to take sides. The French President warned against having to choose between “two orders in this world,” which he considered to be a “huge mistake.” He concluded with a clear demand: “We need a single global order.”
Like the call for a digital passport, this claim isn’t without recent precedent either. Only a week earlier, during the World Government Summit 2022, a discussion panel hosted by Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash discussed the question: “Are you ready for a new world order?” This, however, did not deter Youtube from placing one of its warnings below the official video of the panel discussion, in which it shared a Wikipedia article explaining that “the New World Order is a conspiracy theory which hypothesizes a secretly emerging totalitarian world government.” That may be one article in need of updating soon.