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G7 Pact for Pandemic Readiness

Concept Note, May 20, 2022
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What are the objectives and key pillars of the G7 Pact?

The Pact is a focused action building upon past and current G7 initiatives to strengthen global pandemic readiness. It thematically centers on: (1) collaborative surveillance and (2) predictable rapid response.

The Pact is a strategic and conceptual exercise to decisively improve implementation, coordination and cooperation of our G7 actions in the area of collaborative surveillance and predictable and rapid response. It will also consider existing workstreams with a view to avoid overlaps and duplication. The G7 is expected to send out a clear signal to lead by example for improving pandemic readiness. The Pact reflects the intentions of the G7. The Pact does not create rights or give rise to any obligations under national or international law. The Pact should be supportive of the development and the negotiation of a WHO convention, agreement or other international instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response and not pre-empt or replace proposed lines of actions.

The Pact will advance a global network approach to enhance pandemic surveillance and response capabilities and capacities. This will be done including through our renewed commitments from the 2015 G7 Summit at "Schloss Elmau" to support the implementation of the International Health Regulations (IHR) core capacities, recognizing that a highly qualified workforce is central for successful IHR implementation. We want to nurture an enhanced network for pandemic readiness with regional and national nodes on all continents. We want to further advance the idea of making use of geographically representative centers of excellence, which are networked together.

The Pact's key pillars include:

  1. Our countries' commitments to provide technical, political or financial support to

    strengthen pandemic readiness, outlined in a strong G7 Health Ministers' Communiqué.

  2. The further development and linking of existing and new G7 initiatives, or initiatives supported by the G7, to maximise output of our investments by a series of meetings. These meetings, also on technical level in the second half of 2022, will develop a roadmap for future action and implementation of the G7 Pact, and will include key stakeholders beyond the G7, such as WHO.

Why do we need the Pact?

Enhancing pandemic readiness is necessary. The world is still insufficiently prepared. Responding rapidly to outbreaks delivers better outcomes. Following a One Health approach, key requirements to achieve this are timely available surveillance data from multiple sectors and sources, well trained staff analysing the situation and raising alarm bells early, followed by professional forces of expert responders reacting immediately with access to swiftly available countermeasures including vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, medical devices and non-pharmacological interventions as appropriate.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and even before, a multitude of initiatives and institutions on all levels – some existing and proven and others still under consideration or development – have aimed to achieve these goals (the following list of initiatives and institutions is not exhaustive): the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, the 100 Days Mission, the WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence in Berlin, the International Pathogen Surveillance Network (IPSN), the WHO Global genomic surveillance strategy, the WHO BioHub, the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS), the One Health High-Level Expert Panel (OHHLEP), the One Health Intelligence Scoping Study (OHISS), the PREZODE (Preventing Zoonotic Disease Emergence) initiative, the IAEA's Zoonotic Disease Integrated Action (ZODIAC), the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN), WHO Emergency Medical Teams, the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GloPid-R), the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), the Global Health Security Initiative (GHSI), the WHO Academy in Lyon.

At the same time, an alignment of effective initiatives is needed to foster the network approach and to maximise synergies and outputs of initiatives, institutions and projects and conserve valuable resources through reducing fragmentation, duplication and redundancy.

The G7, in close cooperation with WHO and other international partners, and learning from the Quadripartite alliance on One Health members (FAO, UNEP, OIE), should initiate a stronger operational framework for the global integration of traditional and new approaches to surveillance and to ensure an "always-ready" professional public health emergency workforce that works with cross-sector partners at all levels, building on proven initiatives. Early outbreak signals need to be investigated at the earliest possible opportunity, including using rapid diagnostic testing and genomic sequencing and rapid public health risk assessments, allowing governments, local actors and developers of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics to rapidly respond to emerging threats.

What are the key areas of the Pact in more detail?

(1) Collaborative surveillance

(2) Predictable rapid response to ensure swift, decisive and coordinated response to health threats

What will be the next steps and first outputs of the Pact?

Output 1: The G7 commit to strengthen key areas of collaborative surveillance and predictable rapid response, integrating a One Health approach, including through providing further technical, political or financial support.

Output 2: In the second half of 2022, the G7 Presidency (health track) will convene three meetings to take place with key stakeholders, experts and international organisations, including WHO. The first two meetings should focus on "collaborative surveillance" and "predictable response" respectively. As the outcome of the third meeting, we want to decide on a general roadmap for practical cooperation within these areas for the G7. By doing so, we will discuss how to implement and achieve this roadmap within the overall structures for pandemic readiness, including current processes to reform the monitoring (i.e., the 3rd Edition of the Joint External Evaluation (JEE) Tool and updated IHR State Party Self-Assessment Annual Report (SPAR), potentially a currently piloted Universal Health and Preparedness Review (UHPR) and implementation of the core capacities of the IHR. We seek clear, reliable and transparent actions that can be monitored to support LMICs and interlink the G7 commitments made for pandemic readiness during the recent years, contributing to achieving UHC.

The advice of WHO and inclusion of key stakeholders will inform the Pact and help ensure alignment with other current political processes to strengthen pandemic preparedness globally, using a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach.

Source: Bundesministerium für Gesundheit


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