Memorandum of Understanding
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Between the Government of the United States of America and the World Health Organization Regarding Cooperation on Global Health Security Initiatives
The Government of the United States of America (U.S. Government) and the World Health Organization (WHO), hereinafter referred to as the "Participants":
AFFIRMING that WHO and the U.S. Government seek to establish guiding principles and a framework for collaboration on common goals in the area of global health security and in line with the principles set forth in the International Health Regulations (IHR (2005));
AFFIRMING that global health security priorities represent common overlapping objectives of the public health sector and the security sector, including measures aimed at public health capacity building such as biorisk reduction, preparedness, and disease surveillance, reporting, and response;
AFFIRMING that ensuring global health security contributes to the reduction of vulnerability of populations to public health risks that endanger their health and well-being and affect other sectors of society;
SHARING a commitment to strengthen cooperation in the area of global health security to ensure that the international community effectively manages public health risks and events that may constitute a public health emergency of international concern in accordance with the IHR;
RECOGNIZING that strengthened cooperation among the human health, animal health, and environmental health professionals in the area of global health security may help to ensure that the international community effectively enables detection and response to public health risks at the human, animal, and ecosystem interface;
RECOGNIZING the importance of WHO's leadership in advancing global health security, and its role in facilitating an effective global system to manage public health risks and events that may constitute a public health emergency of international concern;
NOTING the existing collaboration between the Participants on other public health initiatives;
DESIRING to work together to fulfill international objectives for global health security;
Have reached the following understandings:
Section 1- Framework for Collaboration
The Participants recognize the mutual benefits inherent in the development, funding, and establishment of joint collaborative projects designed to prepare the international community to manage public health risks and events that may constitute a public health emergency of international concern in accordance with the IHR across the following areas, which are outlined further in Sections 2 through 7 of this Memorandum of Understanding (Memorandum):
- Enhance the existing global alert and response systems;
- Support implementation of the IHR;
- Strengthen global, regional, and national public health networks;
- Enhance knowledge generation, innovation, and tools for improved management of public health risks and events that may constitute a public health emergency of international concern;
- Enhance global, regional, and national inter-sectoral co-operation for preparedness and management of public health risks and events that may constitute a public health emergency of international concern; and
- Strengthen global health leadership and collaboration.
Section 2 – Enhance the Existing Global Alert and Response Systems
A broad and effective global alert and response system is essential for rapid response and mitigation of public health risks and events that may constitute a public health emergency of international concern. Accordingly, the Participants seek to collaborate, develop, and enhance WHO's tools, systems, and networks that will ensure rapid intervention during public health emergencies of potential international concern, including through the development of global public health readiness.
Section 3 – Support implementation of the IHR
The IHR provide a framework for the development of core capacities that will enable assessment, detection, prevention, and response to public health risks and events of potential international concern. Accordingly, the Participants seek to collaborate in order to develop the capacity of States Parties to implement the IHR and address common objectives for advancing global health security.
Section 4 – Strengthen Global, Regional, and National Public Health Networks
The establishment of new public health networks and the strengthening of existing networks are essential for effective management of public health risks and events that may constitute a public health emergency of international concern. Accordingly, the Participants propose to collaborate at the international, national, and regional levels to further develop and strengthen WHO's and other public health networks and systems.
Section 5 – Enhance Knowledge Generation, Innovation, and Tools for Improved Management of Public Health Risks and Events of International Concern
The development of knowledge, innovation, and tools can greatly contribute to improved management of public health risks and events of international concern. Accordingly, to support the priorities outlined in the IHR, the Participants seek to collaborate at the global, regional and national levels to support to the developing of appropriate capacities.
Section 6 – Enhance Global, Regional, and National Inter-sectoral Cooperation for Preparedness and Management of Public Health Risks of International Concern
Effective global health security requires effective cooperation and coordination among stakeholders involved in the management of public health risks and events of potential international concern. The Participants propose to collaborate with all stakeholders to develop strategies to manage effectively public health risks and events that may constitute a public health emergency of international concern.
Section 7 – Strengthen Global Health Leadership and Collaboration
Global health security issues present challenges that transcend national borders. Increased collaboration will be key to effective advancements in global health security and the Participants recognize that WHO has an essential role to play in providing global health leadership. The Participants propose to work together to foster effective global collaborative arrangements with States Parties and other stakeholders.
Section 8 – General Considerations
The United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) continues to serve as the primary substantive interface with WHO on global health and health security. DHHS plans to ensure coordination with other U.S. Government departments, agencies, and entities that collaborate on health matters within the scope of this Memorandum to enhance the effectiveness of such activities. The U.S. Government agencies intend to develop programs and provide funds through mechanisms that may be determined jointly by the U.S. Government agency and WHO.
Specific funding mechanisms are intended to be developed and U.S. Government agencies intend to collaborate with WHO to define specific work to be undertaken by the Participants and the division of responsibilities. Any provision of funding is to be subject to the availability of appropriated funds, personnel, and other resources for such purposes.
The implementation of each collaborative activity referred to in this MOU is to be subject to the availability of sufficient human and financial resources.
Each Participant intends to conduct the collaborative activities referred to in this Memorandum in accordance with its applicable laws, regulations, administrative practices, and international agreements to which it is party. It is further understood that this Memorandum is not an international treaty or agreement, is not subject to international law, and is not intended to give rise to rights or obligations under international law for WHO or the U.S. Government.
Section 9 – Duration and Modification
Taking into account Section 8.c. of this Memorandum, development of collaborative activities referred to in this Memorandum are intended to commence upon signature by both Participants to this Memorandum.
This Memorandum may be modified in writing as may be decided jointly by the Participants.
Each Participant should endeavor to provide the other Participant with advance notice of its intent to discontinue this Memorandum. If this Memorandum is discontinued, the Participants are to take into account the orderly conclusion of any ongoing activities and the settlement of any outstanding commitments.
Section 10 – Privileges and Immunities of WHO
Nothing contained in or relating to this Memorandum is to be deemed to constitute a waiver of any of the privileges and immunities enjoyed by WHO under national or international law or as submitting WHO to any national court jurisdiction.
For The Government of the United States of America:
United States Department of Health and Human Services
For The World Health Organization:
Dr. Margaret Chan
World Health Organization
Place: New York
Betty E. King
United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva