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Global Public Health Panel Launched by Miller School’s Dr. José Szapocznik Represented at Club de Madrid Briefing

The Panel for the Global Public Health Convention, launched by José Szapocznik, Ph.D., professor and chair emeritus of the Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Public Health Sciences, was recently represented in a briefing led by Club de Madrid—the largest group of former democratically elected presidents and prime ministers—on April 6. The briefing was on a new initiative titled, Global Public Health After COVID-19: Multilateralism that Delivers for Improved Pandemic Prevention”, which will aim to create a platform for policy discussion and advocacy on the need for renewed multilateralism in public health security.

Club de Madrid invited the Panel for the Global Public Health Convention to the briefing, which included Dr. Szapocznik and a group of global leaders working to strengthen the world’s ability to prevent, prepare, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks before they become widespread pandemics. Dr. Szapocznik, who established the panel, provides its infrastructure support with funding from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Global Public Health Institute at the University of Miami, in collaboration with its executive director, Jorge Saavedra, M.D., M.P.H., M.H.P.M.

Global Protection Against the Spread of Infectious Diseases

The work that led to the establishment of the Panel for the Global Public Health Convention began in January 2020 when the AHF Global Public Health Institute at the University of Miami awarded Dr. Szapocznik a grant to develop a project to promote global health protection against the spread of infectious diseases.

Since then, Dr. Szapocznik and a team of investigators gathered and analyzed input from 29 leading global public health experts. Their input was organized into ten recommendations about the kinds of characteristics required for a global governance system to prevent future pandemics. Their goal was to promote a new convention or treaty to ensure timely cooperation, transparency, and compliance—with agreed-upon rules among countries—to avert future pandemics by effectively preventing, preparing, and responding to infectious disease outbreaks wherever they may occur.

“We now have the knowhow to avert most outbreaks turning into pandemics, but not the political will,” said Dr. Szapocznik. “The new global treaty on pandemic prevention for which we advocate will establish a new global pandemic architecture with elements to objectively monitor preparedness and response, ensure compliance via an inspectorate, incentives, and sanctions, remediate deficiencies, and ensure sustainable funding that is free from undue political pressure.”

Club de Madrid Briefing

The chair of the panel, Dame Barbara Stocking, who is president of Murray Edwards College at Cambridge University and formerly the chair of the World Health Organization-appointed Independent Panel on Ebola, briefed the members of Club de Madrid on April 6 about new proposals to improve how the world responds to infectious disease outbreaks and international health emergencies like COVID-19.

“We are honored by the opportunity to present our proposals to the members of the Club de Madrid,” said Dame Stocking. “Reforms of the global public health system will require endorsement and action at the highest levels of government in countries across the world, as well as by multilateral institutions. We believe the Club is an ideal forum to start this important conversation.”

Written by Amanda Torres
Published on April 7, 2021