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Friday, May 20th, 2022

NTI commends Biden for hosting global COVID-19 summit

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The Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) commended President Joe Biden for hosting a Global COVID-19 Summit and encouraged those participating in the summit to commit to stemming the impacts of the pandemic around the world.

NTI — a nonprofit, nonpartisan global security organization focused on reducing nuclear and biological threats to humanity — said it supports the “Framework for a Global Action Plan for COVID-19 Response,” which outlines a six-point action plan to end the pandemic.

“NTI commits … to working for a more resilient global system, one that sustainably finances nations’ health security capacity and catalyzes global leadership to prevent biological threats, regardless of source,” the organization said in a statement. “Future crises of this magnitude or worse can be reduced or prevented by driving resources to countries most in need, and toward the areas that remain the most vulnerable. Stronger biosafety, biosecurity, and research oversight capability is needed in countries globally, enhancing an often-overlooked component of health security necessary for preventing deliberate and accidental biological events with potentially catastrophic consequences.”

The organization further called on leaders across the globe to establish a new financing mechanism that would provide sustainable, multi-year resources to fund preparedness for future pandemic threats. The fund, the organization said, should be backed by strong monitoring and accountability measures, that would ensure it was effecting change where it is needed the most.

“Sustainable financing mechanisms should be accompanied by efforts to promote the adoption of Universal Health Coverage to improve access to healthcare, a critical factor for national pandemic preparedness as highlighted by the 2019 Global Health Security Index,” NTI said in a statement. “Further, we, collectively, must ensure that the international architecture is better positioned in the future to address high-consequence biological events.”

NTI also called for the creation of a Global Health Threats Council as well as a permanent UN facilitator and unit within the Office of the UN Secretary General who would be responsible for responding to biological crises.

Lastly, the organization called on leaders to establish a new global biosecurity entity to reduce biotechnology-related risks by promoting biosecurity norms and incentivizing best biosecurity practices.