At the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness & Response (PPPR) on 20 September 2023, STOPAIDS delivered a statement to the multi-stakeholder panel 1: “Ensuring equity through governance and accountability for PPPR by utilizing multi-sectoral coordination at all levels”.
The statement outlined that today’s meeting and declaration are a crucial reminder for us all that we must deliver on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response that is community-led, based in human rights and built on existing health responses.
In the HIV and COVID-19 responses, we have seen directly the impact of inequitable access to medical countermeasures. These pandemics have been characterised by unprecedented progress in scientific research and public funding has played a critical role in the research and development, manufacturing and distribution for medical countermeasures. However, the governance of such tools, including their distribution, pricing and manufacturing, has too often been dominated by narrow commercial or nationalistic motives rather than the interests of global public health.
Multi-sectoral coordination can play a crucial role in delivering equity in access to countermeasures and requires Member States support for global initiatives and frameworks which aim to increase equitable access to pandemic tools, including the WHO mRNA technology transfer hub. In addition we need multi-sectoral coordination to introduce access conditions across the R&D continuum covering availability, affordability, tech transfer, open access, and transparency.
It is vital that Member States agree to a strong, and binding, Pandemic Accord that includes commitments for intellectual property waivers, increased local production capacity and conditions on public funding for research with an inclusive Conference of Parties to ensure oversight and accountability.
Finally we cannot talk about multi-sectorial coordination without recognising and supporting communities and civil society as key partners and decision-makers in global health governance processes, including the proposed Pandemic Accord Conference of Parties, any future medical countermeasures platform and across the multilateral system.