PARLIAMENTARIANS FROM WESTERN AND CENTRAL EUROPE DISCUSS THE IMPORTANCE OF INVESTING IN RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT TO PREPARE FOR THE NEXT PANDEMIC

(Lisbon) January 25th: Today, more than 40 participants, including 11 policymakers, from France, Germany, Lithuania, Norway, Spain, Portugal, and the United Kingdom participated in a roundtable to discuss how to prepare the world for the next pandemic and what are the necessary mechanisms for an efficient regional collaboration in order to build more solid and resilient health systems. The event was organized by UNITE Global Parliamentarians Network to End Infectious Diseases and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

In a very committed way, parliamentarians presented the state of public investment in R&D for pandemic preparedness in their countries, the willingness of the governments to invest in this area and the main debates that are currently being held at the parliaments regarding the matter. Members of Parliament also discussed the main mechanisms for pandemic preparedness implemented by national governments, as well as good practices observed in their countries.

The event was moderated by Eloise Todd, Co-Founder of the Pandemic Action Network, and counted with two distinguished speakers, Professor Jeffrey Lazarus, Head of the Health Systems Research Group at IS Global and Associate Professor at the University of Barcelona, and Dr. Frederik Kristensen, CEPI’s Deputy CEO.

Professor Jeffrey Lazarus highlighted the importance of multilateralism in preparing the world for the next pandemic and how CEPI’s work is fundamental in this area. According to the Professor, CEPI is a globally recognised organising force for R&D collaboration and innovation, and so it is uniquely placed to coordinate this international approach. Professor Lazarus also called the attention to the importance of the compromise of parliamentarians in Europe, who represent the citizen’s voices and hold governments accountable.

Dr. Frederik Kristensen presented CEPI’s mission and the replenishment to come, highlighting the importance of investing in R&D for pandemic preparedness. Dr. Kristensen elucidated the audience about CEPI’s work in the region and already existing partnerships, calling attention for what parliamentarians can do to define a great investment in R&D in their countries.

The discussion provided the parliamentarians and participants with valuable information about the current situation regarding pandemic preparedness in Europe, as well as tools to support the advocacy for a greater investment in R&D in the region. As an outcome of the event, UNITE and CEPI have the goal of continuing to work together to raise awareness about the importance of multilateralism to prevent future pandemics.

Read here in French.

Read here in Spanish.

More information about the event organizers: 

UNITE is a global network of parliamentarians committed to driving political change and impact to end infectious diseases as a global health threat until 2030. UNITE has 160 members in more than 70 countries worldwide and divides its activities in ten regions, called chapters, led by its Co-Chairs and Executive Board.   

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) launched at Davos in 2017, is an innovative global partnership, working to stimulate and accelerate the development of vaccines against emerging infectious diseases and enable access to these vaccines for people during outbreaks.  

Contacts:  

Lucas Chambel, Head of Strategic Partnerships and Communications, UNITE – lucas.chambel@unitenetwork.org

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