Minister for Health Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar has called for greater international cooperation to better address health emergencies. He was speaking at the two-day Global Health and Safety Conference held in Islamabad. The 2-days Conference convened more than 70 delegates including global leaders, health professionals and civil society activists to brainstorm solutions for a safer and healthier future.
Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar further said that our commitment should be expanded to establish a global framework for information sharing, joint analysis and joint strategies for effective response to emergency situations. He said global funding mechanisms beyond national channels should be explored to help the country in need, ensuring that no one is left out in the pursuit of our health and safety. He noted that the establishment of international health laboratories that share best practices and resources can be key to protecting all of us from future threats.
He said new diseases like COVID-19 and climate-induced events like the historic floods in Pakistan in 2022 were threatening the health of our society and causing socio-economic consequences. He emphasized the importance of integrating climate resilience into health policies and programs.
He stressed for a shared vision where health and safety is not a right but a universal right. He said COVID-19 has taught us valuable lessons about the importance of working together, preparedness and an integrated approach. Our collective vision should be to build a dynamic and integrated global healthcare system rather than simply solve problems.
He stressed the need to establish international standards for food safety, and to harmonize regulations to ensure greater protection of the global population
Minister for National Health Services, Dr. Nadeem Jan said Pakistan has been an ardent supporter of global health security, steering collaborative efforts for a safer and more secure world. He said this summit reflects our commitment and sensitivity to the health needs of everyone especially the downtrodden.
Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani said Pakistan supports amendment to the International Health Regulations of 2005 and adopting a pandemic instrument that is based on principles of equity, inclusiveness, global solidarity and international cooperation.
He said Pakistan continues to collaborate with international partners and the World Health Organization in shaping a resilient system through enhanced international cooperation. Access to technology is also pivotal that can enable large scale production of life-saving medicines and vaccines, required for an effective response to pandemic and health emergencies.
He stressed on the need to streamline coordination at the national level in developing national response to health related emergencies. He lauded organizing Global Health Security Summit, describing it a timely initiative as the international community is still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome thanked Pakistani leadership for its efforts to tackle one of the most significant challenges of global health security system, the international community is facing. He said coordination with partners is the most effective way to address regional and global health threats. He said countries can accomplish with political will and determination to invest in global health security. The United States will be a strong partner in robust discussions in identifying strategies and steps to address critical priorities of global health security system.
Head of the Saudi delegation and Minister for Health Dr. Hani Jokhdar stressed the need to keep global health security agenda as top priority to the implementation of the public health policy. He urged the member countries of global health security agenda to put special efforts to fight the silent pandemic. He acknowledged the role of Pakistan in accelerating progress for making the world, safe and secure from infectious disease threats.
Head of delegation from Afghanistan Dr. Qalandar Ebad said tackling the challenge of infectious diseases needs collective efforts from across the globe. He said Afghanistan is trying its best to eradicate Polio virus from the country.
Head of Kyrgyzstan delegation Dr. Aleem Qaidar said that the most valuable asset of human civilization is life and human health. He stressed the need to develop strategies to ensure the safety of citizens.
Head of delegation from Tajikistan Mohsin Ghafoor in his remarks said that the pandemic COVID-19 helped us learn lesson as to how important are our combined efforts to tackle global health challenges. He lauded the efforts of Pakistan in holding Global Health Security Summit for preparedness against future health challenges.
The global health summit, a two-day event with health ministers from countries, health experts and stakeholders from around the world, concluded on Thursday (today) with a resounding commitment to a unified, coordinated response to emerging health challenges.
The summit presented determination and shared vision among nations, transcending geopolitical boundaries in the pursuit of a common goal. Discussions covered a wide spectrum of topics, from collaborative preparedness to the critical role of resilient health systems. Delegates representing diverse corners of the globe shared invaluable insights, emphasizing the interconnectedness of our shared destiny.
The federal minister for NHSRC congratulated the participating delegates and participants to make this Summit a successful event. “Beyond national interests, we are partners for a common goal – to ensure the health of all,” said the Minister Dr. Nadeem Jan at the conclusion of the Summit.
During his remarks, the health minister Dr. Nadeem Jan proposed to introduce a Global Health Security Agenda Champion Awards to be bestowed upon the countries/ individuals based on their exemplary contributions to the cause. He also proposed the inclusion of a dedicated special session on global health security in both the annual UNGA and World Health Assembly agendas. This would provide a regular platform for nations to review progress, share insights, and discuss emerging health challenges on a global scale. A comprehensive 5-years global action plan was proposed to guide nations in implementing strategies for enhancing health security.
Federal Secretary Iftikhar Ali Shalwani expressed his joy, stating that it was a “dream come true” to witness the collaborative efforts of policy makers, experts, policymakers, and stakeholders from around the world. He emphasized the need for continued collaboration, and the implementation of evidence-based strategies to safeguard global health. In his address, he underscored the importance of the summit as a platform for forging partnerships and creating a roadmap for collective action.
Dr Muhammad Ahmed Kazi, Director General of Health, expressed sincere gratitude to distinguished guests, esteemed colleagues, and participants for their active engagement throughout the summit. He also summarized the main highlights of the two day proceedings of the Summit.