Statement by Prime Minister Erna Solberg at the Virtual United Nations Dialogue on Pandemic Preparedness and Response Architecture, 26 April 2021.
Ladies and gentlemen, friends,
Let’s be honest. We were not sufficiently prepared when the pandemic hit.
We must be better prepared to prevent, detect and respond to cross-border infections.
Global health security is a global public good. It is also a social, economic and security issue.
Ad-hoc solutions must be transformed into solutions for the longer term.
Each country must strengthen its national capacity and investment. But we must also work together.
- clearer international norms and standards.
- better coordination to develop and distribute technologies and tools.
- And support for capacity building.
We also need independent monitoring and evaluation that extends across all of these. Our efforts must be embedded in stronger health care and public health systems. And they must be rooted in norms, guidance and leadership from a fully financed WHO. A WHO with the operational independence to deliver on its mandate.
International efforts like these require predictable financing. Long-term commitments for prevention and preparedness. And ways to quickly raise funds during a crisis.
The cost of preparedness is small compared to the cost of inaction. A system for burden-sharing will benefit all countries.
President Ramaphosa of South Africa and I co-chair the ACT Accelerator Facilitation Council. We have been hard at work to mobilise financial resources. One challenge has been lack of clarity about how much each contributor should pay. We have therefore developed a framework for how we can all share the cost of getting the ACT-A fully financed.
The time has come for us to move from recommendations to implementation. The Global Health Summit and the G7 and G20 processes are important forums. Pandemic preparedness and response will be a key topic at the World Health Assembly. This includes discussions on establishing an open-ended working group. And on introducing legally binding commitments through a pandemic treaty.
Increased and predictable financing will be essential. We must think beyond the framework of official development aid and provide funding for a public good that will benefit all countries. As co-hosts of this meeting, we will facilitate discussions on a financing mechanism for global health security. No country can do this alone. We will work towards a common approach through an inclusive process involving civil society and the private sector. We will conclude these efforts at a high-level event later this year.
Vice President Harris reminded us that urgent action is needed. I commend the US for again taking a leading role in global health. I am looking forward to working with the Vice President and all of you to ensure we make the most of the momentum from this crisis. Let’s get to work!