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In the year since its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russia has killed tens of thousands of Ukrainian men, women, and children; uprooted more than 13 million people from their homes and bombed more than 700 hospitals.  The U.S. joins others in condemning Russia’s unprovoked, unjustified war against Ukraine.  We continue to stand with the Ukrainian people and call for a just and durable peace, in accordance with the UN charter.

The United States is committed to the Pandemic Accord, to form a major component of the global health architecture for generations to come. Shared commitment, shared aspirations and shared responsibilities will vastly improve our system for preventing, preparing for, and responding to future pandemic emergencies.

We seek a Pandemic Accord that builds capacities; reduces pandemic threats posed by zoonotic diseases; enables rapid and more equitable responses; and establishes sustainable financing, governance, and accountability to ultimately break the cycle of panic and neglect.

There is a lot to build on in this draft related to these priorities.  However, the draft is unbalanced toward response at the expense of prevention and preparedness. While we need to avoid duplicating substantive elements contained in the IHR, such as surveillance and alerts, we need to discuss how best to address pandemic prevention and preparedness here. These efforts should be mutually supportive and complementary.

We appreciate the focus on equity in Chapter III but also agree it must be better integrated across the draft. Our work must be inclusive and applicable for the improved health and wellbeing of all people. A commitment to “equity” must address inequities not only between countries, but also within them.  Not just protecting populations from pandemics – but also from illness, death, and disrupted access to essential health care services during pandemics, including sexual and reproductive health services.

We must also recognize the roles of other international organizations and instruments. WTO is the most appropriate venue for discussions regarding legal obligations that fall under its own agreements, including discussions on the TRIPS Agreement.

We do not support “common but differentiated responsibilities and capabilities.” This concept is not appropriate in the context of pandemic PPR. We look forward to seeking common ground to best ensure universal application while also ensuring capacities are strengthened so that countries can meet their obligations.

We recognize the important role of financing and while we have concerns about some of the language in the draft, including specific allocations of domestic budgets or GDP, we seek to identify financing methods appropriate for this accord.

External stakeholder involvement is critical as a stronger PPR architecture will depend on their expertise and commitment. The INB should encourage inclusive solutions that leverage key stakeholders, such as the private sector and civil society.

Finally, the Pandemic Accord must stand the test of time while building on the lessons from previous pandemics. By creating solutions that are flexible and adaptable, by laying out commitments that are clear regarding triggers and responsibilities, and by strengthening coordination and capacities, together we can build a stronger global health architecture for all.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future