Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)  |  September 15, 2021

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On March 30, 2021, the heads of state of 26 nations, joined by the executive director of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the president of the European Council, called for an international treaty on pandemic prevention and preparedness—the highest level of political action to avert and respond to future health crises. In an historic action, 194 countries passed a World Health Assembly (WHA) resolution to host a special session devoted solely to an international pandemic agreement, now scheduled for November 29, 2021. The WHA special session will be preceded by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly and the G20 group of nations on September 14 and October 30, 2021, respectively. WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus referred to these 3 events as critical in shaping global health security.3 Georgetown University’s O’Neill Institute, partnering with the Foundation of the National Institutes of Health, is hosting international expert consultations to support the WHO and its member states in the development of an international agreement on pandemic prevention and preparedness.

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