A Global Commitment to Pandemic Prevention
In a significant and historic move, UN Member States came together on Wednesday to pledge their unwavering commitment to prevent the recurrence of the devastating health and socioeconomic crises triggered by COVID-19. Their goal is clear: to fortify the world’s capacity to avert another global pandemic.
A Milestone Declaration
At the inaugural summit dedicated to pandemic prevention and response, nations adopted a landmark political declaration that marks a turning point in global health security. Moreover, these nations vowed to rekindle their efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
A Safer World for All
“This is a historic milestone in the urgent drive to make all people of the world safer and better protected from the devastating impacts of pandemics,”
remarked Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the UN World Health Organization (WHO). He welcomed the commitment of world leaders to provide the necessary political support and direction.
Months of Negotiation Bear Fruit
The declaration represents the culmination of months of intensive negotiations, during which nations refined and reached consensus on actions to be taken at local, regional, and global levels. The declaration will be officially presented to the General Assembly for formal endorsement.
Key Provisions of the Declaration
Among the key provisions of the political declaration, Member States underscore the imperative to conclude negotiations on a formal agreement for pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response, commonly referred to as the Pandemic Accord. They aim to make targeted amendments to the International Health Regulations by May of the following year.
Combating Misinformation and Disinformation
The declaration also calls upon States to address the detrimental physical and mental health impacts of health-related misinformation, disinformation, hate speech, and stigmatization, particularly on social media platforms. Instead, it advocates for public information campaigns grounded in scientific facts.
Strengthening Global Health Capacities
Member States commit to enhancing health workforces, rapid response capabilities, surveillance systems, and local manufacturing capacities. These measures will enable countries to independently address their needs for pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response.
Learning from the Past
Reflecting on the global response to COVID-19, UN Secretary-General António Guterres acknowledged both human ingenuity and societal shortcomings. While celebrating achievements in rapid testing and vaccine development, he highlighted issues such as unpreparedness, disproportionate impacts on the world’s most vulnerable, and vaccine hoarding by wealthier nations.
Avoiding the Mistakes of the Past Through Pandemic Prevention
Secretary-General Guterres emphasized the importance of not repeating past mistakes when facing future pandemics and health threats. He urged countries to support the WHO, including increasing their financial contributions, as part of the collective effort to safeguard global health.
This landmark declaration signals a united global front in the fight against pandemics and represents a significant step toward a safer and healthier world for all.