Over 1000 policymakers, global health activists and experts joined UNITE Global Summit 2021.
From December 6 to 8, over 1000 elected members of parliament, government officials, policymakers, global health experts, practitioners, representatives of civil society, and activists have gathered to discuss the current and persistent challenges infectious diseases pose to people worldwide.
For three days, 110 speakers explored how COVID-19 has transformed global health and modern politics and how the international architecture could respond to current & future pandemics while serving the most vulnerable and not losing sight of other infectious diseases. The UNITE Global Summit results from cooperation and partnerships between UNITE and 20 international organizations working on different fronts related to public health.
The opening session had messages from Ricardo Baptista Leite, Member of Parliament in Portugal and President & Founder of UNITE Global Parliamentarian’s Network to End Infectious Diseases. It also had welcome remarks and fraternal greetings from Prof Jeffrey Lazarus (University of Barcelona), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (WHO, General Director), Marisol Touraine (UNITAID, President of the Board), Evaline Kibuchi (Stop TB Kenya, Chief National Coordinator) and Rosemary Museminali (UNAIDS, External and Donor Relations Director).
The program focused on three central topics. The first day had presentations on the overall topic of building back better our communities. Hosted by Prof. Jeffrey Lazarus, and has four panels with timely discussions moderated by partners from UNAIDS, the International Aids Society, Harm Reduction International, Hepatitis Partnership for Control and Treatment, Médecins Sans Frontières; Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative; FIND, the global alliance for diagnostics; Treatment Action Group, and UNITAID.
On The Second Day, the program focused on science & innovation as the hope for an equitable future. With the hosting of Eloise Todd (Pandemic Action network, Co-founder), partners from Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP), Uniting to Combat NTDs, Wellcome Trust, Harm Reduction International, the Global Drug Policy Index, Open Society Foundations, Transform Health, and the Pandemic Action Network, hosted a total of four panels addressing matters regarding leadership in accelerating the response to antimicrobial resistance in the pandemic era, building political will to end neglected tropical diseases, securing funding for harm reduction programs, and tackling the silent epidemic of hepatitis C.
The third and last day invited participants to rethink global health & multilateralism. The agenda was hosted by Katja Roll (Senior Advisor on Global Health Diplomacy at the Joep Lange Institute) and had three panel discussions moderated by GAVI (The Vaccine Alliance), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB & Malaria, UHC 2030, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), The panel for a Global Public Health Convention (GPHC), AHF, IAPAC and Stop TB Partnership.
The closing session was divided into three parts. The first one was a call to action for parliamentary networks. Part one was followed by the signature of the Joint Declaration of the International Forum on Global Health, by representative members from UNITE, the Parliamentary Network on WB & IMF, and the World Bank. The second part united UNITE’s Chapter Chairs to overview and discuss their regional work and interventions in 2021. The third and last part addressed the need to place civil society and communities at the centre of global health multilateralism.
The UNITE Global Summit 2021 got together leaders from multilateral organizations, public-private partnerships, government development agencies, foundations, international NGOs, civil society, think tanks, academia, and the private sector, joined by elected members of parliament. The event created momentum for political leadership for not losing sight of other infectious diseases as well as to advancing more sustainable, fairer, and equitable policies for all, always and everywhere.
UNITE Global Parliamentarians Network to End Infectious Diseases
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