Global Health Security Agenda Commitment Development Meeting, Helsinki, Finland, May 5-6, 2014
The next step to accelerate progress on the Global Health Security Agenda
Cooperation in Combating Global Biohazards (Finnish Government press release)
On February 13, 2014, representatives from 29 nations, the European Union (EU), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the World Health Organization for Animal Health (OIE) came together in Washington, DC and Geneva, to launch the Global Health Security Agenda. On that day, participating nations made a collective commitment to significantly accelerate activities in 2014 and over the next five years to advance a shared vision of global health security to achieve a world able to prevent, detect and rapidly respond to infectious disease threats, whether naturally occurring, deliberate or accidental.
During the launch, Finland announced it would host the first Commitment Development Meeting to discuss strategic, measurable actions that nations can take to advance the nine objectives of the Global Health Security Agenda that directly support the WHO International Health Regulations (IHR) and other relevant global health security frameworks.
More than thirty countries; WHO; FAO; OIE; and the EU gathered in Helsinki, Finland, on May 5-6, 2014, bringing together leaders from multiple sectors needed to make progress on the GHS Agenda. These included health, foreign affairs, development, agriculture, defense, and national security. Attendees discussed actions their nations can take to advance objectives of the Global Health Security Agenda.
The meeting will focus on commitments that are measurable, substantive new or expanded activities that:
- Strengthen domestic and regional shared capacity, including domestic GHS capacity and commitments across borders that bring together nations and/or organizations to achieve a larger national or regional GHS objective;
- Build external and global capacity, including activities that assist other countries and strengthen global institutions (e.g. WHO, OIE, FAO) to build capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats through resources or technical assistance; and
- Reinforce global norms and standards, including efforts to share lessons learned and to foster transparency and information sharing when outbreaks occur.
Dr. Päivi Sillanaukee, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finland; and Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention co-moderated the Commitment Development Meeting. Other speakers included Laura Holgate, U.S. National Security Council; State Secretary Ulla-Maija Rajakangas, Finland Ministry of Social Affairs and Health; Dr. Keiji Fukuda, Assistant Director General, WHO; Dr. Bernard Vallat, Director General, OIE; John F. Ryan, Director, DG SANCO; Dr. Francis Kasolo, WHO Africa Region; Dr. Carolos Brito, West African Health Organization; Dr. Jaana Husu-Kallio, Finland, Permanent Secretary, Finland Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry; and Dr. Juan Lubroth, Chief Veterinary Officer, FAO. Additional speakers from the Netherlands, India, Denmark, Kenya, South Africa, China, Finland, Georgia, Turkey, Canada, Thailand, Japan, Norway, and United Kingdom were discussants on topics including national global health security actions to accelerate progress to protect against infectious diseases, the relationship between human and animal health, measures of success, and sustainability.
Representatives from the following countries participated in the Global Health Security Agenda Commitment Development meeting in Helsinki: Australia, Azerbaijan, Canada, China, Denmark, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Republic of Korea, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, and Yemen. Attendees from international organizations represented the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, European Commission, World Health Organization for Animal Health, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and the World Health Organization.