Advisor for Economic and Social Affairs
New York, New York
September 2, 2022
Thank you, Mr. President.
The United States would like to express support for the intention of the Resolution to maintain and strengthen political attention on pandemic preparedness and response. This is a shared global priority and a major focus for the United States. The special session proposed as part of this Resolution has the ability to support these goals in New York, while reinforcing the critical work taking place in Geneva, Washington, and in capitals around the world.
The timing of the special session must be planned – and scoped accordingly – with a solid appreciation of the complementary processes, negotiations, and efforts taking place in other fora including ongoing discussions on pandemic-related issues occurring at the World Health Organization on International Health Regulations amendments and the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body on developing a pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response instrument, at the WHO, and elsewhere. It will be critical that a future special session be informed by and help to support those concurrent efforts while being respectful of their distinct processes.
While we support the goals of the resolution to increase commitment across the UN system on this important issue, we would like to register concerns with the process on this short, procedural text. The text was not properly negotiated or placed under silence procedure. Many delegations across regions expressed concerns with the process and timing of the special session during the only two brief informational meetings that were held, which were not addressed in any subsequent drafts of this text.
As we approach UNGA high-level week in 2023, we will want to ensure that any additional events on global health priorities provide a strong value-add to the packed agenda. We are looking forward to the high-level meeting on universal health coverage, the outcome of which would also add to the pandemic preparedness architecture we are all seeking to strengthen and solidify. The United States will be engaging constructively and proactively in the upcoming modalities negotiations for this special session in order to ensure that the timing and scope of this special session amplifies, complements, and does not duplicate existing processes. Pandemic preparedness and response requires ongoing political attention and mobilization, as well as commitment across the UN system and sectors to help reinforce the work taking place in Geneva and elsewhere. We welcome the opportunity to reflect on this special session as we look ahead to next steps.