November 19, 2021

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The COVID-19 pandemic is a global public health catastrophe. Many feel this was a preventable disaster that underscored the gaping holes in global governance and oversight of pandemics. As members of the World Health Assembly (WHA) gather to consider the development of a convention, agreement, or other international instrument on pandemic preparedness and response, the Panel for a Global Public Health Convention, in collaboration with the O’Neill Institute and FNIH convened a consultation with representatives from various NGO’s representing regions in the Americas, Africa, and Europe. This consultation took place on 3 November 2021, meeting to gain information on the perspective of NGO representatives on a potential international agreement on pandemic prevention and response. Written responses were also submitted for inclusion in the report by NGO and civil society representatives unable to attend the live session.

NGOs and civil society are integral parts of the global health ecosystem. Their expertise and
experience in advocating, mobilizing, and implementing fundamental change in the world’s public health ecology is unparallel in both scope and breadth. These organizations work hand in hand with a wide variety of actors from local providers to global experts and international leaders. Their voice is uniquely informed by a perspective gained through decades of combined specialized work to further the health of communities across the globe. This Annex has been compiled as an addition to the report drafted by the O’Neill Institute and the FNIH, as a vehicle for representatives of NGOs and civil society to voice their perspective on an international agreement on pandemic prevention.

Responses collected from participants have been compiled, analyzed, and drafted here by the Panel’s Secretariat in collaboration with the O’Neill Institute. The discussions were facilitated by José Szapocznik, PhD, Head of Secretariat, and Dr. Jorge Saavedra, Director of the AHF Global Public Health Institute at the University of Miami. The consultation for this annex was organized by the Panel for a Public Health Convention Secretariat in collaboration with the O’Neill Center and FNIH.

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