HHS Officials Deliver Remarks at Annual Global Health Security Agenda Ministerial Meeting

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar delivered a video message at the Fifth Annual Global Health Security Agenda (GSHA) Ministerial Meeting. His remarks focused on the United State’s commitment to strengthening global health security.

Following Secretary Azar’s video message at the meeting, Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan delivered remarks where he announced the U.S. will commit an additional $150 million to support capacity strengthening in high-risk countries around the world.

Good afternoon. I’m U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. I am sorry I couldn’t join this important meeting in person, but I am pleased our Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services, Eric Hargan, is leading the U. S. multisectoral delegation to this milestone event to strengthen global health security.

Thank you, Minister [Nila] Moeloek, and the Republic of Indonesia, for hosting this meeting.

And Minister [Giulia] Grillo, we are grateful for your dedication in chairing the GHSA Steering Group in 2018, and for Italy’s leadership.

The United States expresses condolences to the families and communities affected by the September 28 earthquake and tsunami in Central Sulawesi, as well as the recent plane crash near Jakarta. We pledge our continued support to the people of Indonesia. The United States is proud to be a friend and strategic partner to Indonesia, and we are committed to assisting in the relief effort.

This year, we approach the end of Phase I of the Global Health Security Agenda. Since its launch in 2014, GHSA has driven significant progress toward strengthening country-level health security capacity. Progress made to date is in large part thanks to the commitment and leadership of all of you at this meeting.

But more work remains. To keep our people safe, we must strengthen our capacity to prevent, detect and respond to infectious diseases. As the continuing Ebola crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo reminds us, it is vital that we all work together to support countries struggling to combat these frightening threats.

As we launch GHSA 2024, we need to determine how, over the next five years, we can build a culture of preparedness in each of our nations, where strengthening and maintaining health security capacities becomes a core health investment by every country.

Whether health threats are naturally occurring, accidental, deliberate, or, as in the case of the DRC, complicated by armed conflict, we must face up to these challenges and work together to overcome them.

This is why the United States strongly supported the development of GHSA 2024.

We have the opportunity, at this time in history, to make a significant step forward toward securing our countries from infectious disease threats.

We look forward to working with all of you throughout the next chapter of GHSA to make health security not just a priority for every country, but also a reality. Thank you, and I wish you all a productive meeting today.

Source: HHS

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