United States Mission to the United Nations
Office of Press and Public Diplomacy
For Immediate Release
April 26, 2021
Readout of a Closed Virtual Dialogue Hosted by the United States, Argentina, Japan, Norway, and South Africa on Pandemic Preparedness and Response
Today, Vice President Kamala Harris and United States Representative to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield each addressed UN representatives and stakeholders urging bold actions needed to prevent, detect, and respond to the threat of future infectious disease outbreaks and ensure resilient health systems. Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield opened today’s event by highlighting the heartbreaking spike in COVID cases in India, noting the United States is responding to the situation by deploying urgently-needed resources and encouraging other countries to join the effort.
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that pandemic preparedness and response are shared global challenges vital to the security of countries and communities around the world. For this reason, today’s discussion was co-hosted by the Governments of Argentina, Japan, Norway, and South Africa, and included high-level officials and global leaders from health, development, humanitarian, agricultural, and financial sectors. These key stakeholders were invited to share their work on the pandemic response and offer tangible proposals and perspectives on changes needed this year to ensure the world is better prepared for the next infectious disease threat.
Both Vice President Harris and Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield highlighted the need to take proactive action now to create a lasting global health security architecture that will strengthen health systems and make the world more resilient in the face of future pandemics. The Vice President called for the establishment of sustainable financing for global health security as a critical first step. She also emphasized additional areas for urgent action, including: identifying the factors that could trigger an immediate ‘no regrets’ global response to the next outbreak, how to establish regional surge capacity to build resilience against outbreaks, innovative methods of finance, and how these lines of effort will be coordinated among Member States.
Vice President Harris and Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield made clear that preventing the next pandemic will require strong partnerships and collaboration around the world. They thanked participants for coming together and taking an important first step toward that goal and expressed their hope to continue the dialogue at upcoming multilateral engagements, including the Rome Global Health Summit and the World Health Assembly next month.