Statement regarding the UN High-Level Meeting on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness, and Response

Sept. 20 – Aggrey’s Statement at UN HLM on Pandemic PPR

Pandemic Action Network’s statement for delivery by Aggrey Aluso regarding the UN High-Level Meeting on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness, and Response, Multi-stakeholder Hearing Panel 1, “Ensuring equity through governance and accountability for PPPR by utilizing multi-sectoral coordination at all levels,” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sept. 20, 2023.

Madame Chair, esteemed co-chairs, ladies and gentlemen, all protocols duly observed.

My name is Aggrey Aluso, and I am here today from Kenya representing the Pandemic Action Network. We are more than 350 partners globally, from different countries, regions, sectors, united in the belief that keeping humanity safe from pandemics demands urgent action, especially our top political leaders.

Had world leaders heeded the lessons of the past and prioritized pandemic preparedness, had they joined together on a global plan to ensure everyone had equal access to pandemic countermeasures, we would have saved millions of lives and tens of trillions of dollars, and ended the COVID-19 crisis more swiftly, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) may not be so badly off track.

More than 100 organizations have signed a letter urging global leaders and ministers to commit to an agenda for action over the next year to prevent the next deadly pandemic. Let me highlight three key points: 

First, leaders must agree on standing mechanisms to elevate and sustain political leadership and accountability for pandemic preparedness, prevention, and response at the highest level of government. Pandemics are a collective security threat that require independent monitoring and continued  vigilance and oversight, reviewing global progress on an annual basis, as we do for the global threat of climate change. 

Second, we must bolster global governance and equity. COVID-19 brought to light dire inequities both within and between countries. Global leaders must agree to, and action, an ambitious Pandemic Accord and amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHRs) by next May to strengthen Member State obligations, backed by a robust monitoring and accountability framework. This must be coupled with an end-to-end pandemic countermeasure platform — with meaningful engagement from Member States and communities that are the most vulnerable — to ensure everyone has access to the lifesaving products they need faster in a future pandemic. 

Third, leaders must commit to secure the additional, long-term financing needed to close critical pandemic PPR funding gaps at the national and global levels. This includes US$10.5 billion annually to the Pandemic Fund and a fully and sustainably financed pandemic countermeasure platform ready with surge financing capacity.

The next pandemic will not wait. We call for a near-term progress review at the Summit for the Future and High Level Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance in September 2024.

Leaders, through this High Level Meeting and Declaration, must commit to stop the cycle of panic and neglect once and for all — and take the steps necessary to ensure that every country, every community, and our global system is better prepared and more resilient for tomorrow’s threats. 

Thank you.