November 4, 2021

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On May 25, 2021, the World Health Assembly (WHA) of the World Health Organization (WHO) called for a Special Session to be convened in late November to consider developing a convention, agreement, or other international instrument on pandemic preparedness and response. On September 8-9, the O’Neill Institute and FNIH convened 30 of the world’s leading authorities on global health law, financing, biomedical science, implementation, and emergency response along with leaders from prominent international organizations involved in defeating the pandemic. The high-level experts had in-depth discussions on the weaknesses and persisting gaps in global pandemic preparedness and what a new international agreement might include to address them. This meeting was followed by regional consultations convened in Africa, Latin America-Caribbean, and Southeast Asia. This report summarizes the major themes that arose across the listening sessions, along with specific project or program proposals, potential avenues of international collaboration, and operational considerations for use by policymakers and the international community as they consider how to move forward. This summary report is not meant as a consensus document, but a compilation of the ideas and diverse perspectives offered.

All sessions proceeded under Chatham House rules. The O’Neill Institute and FNIH facilitated the discussions. The O’Neill Institute drafted these findings with input from the FNIH and the listening session experts. A portion of the project was funded by a grant from the FNIH’s Pandemic Relief Fund.