Global Health Security In An Era of Explosive Pandemic

25 April 2018, 5.00 PM - 25 April 2018, 8.00 PM

Professor Lawrence Gostin (Benjamin Meaker Visiting Fellow)

8-10 Berkeley Square, Moot Court Room

"Pandemics pose a significant risk to security, economic stability, and development. Annualized expected losses from pandemics are estimated at $60 billion per year. Despite the certainty and magnitude of the threat, the global community has significantly underestimated and underinvested in preparing for pandemic threats."

"We cannot wait or continue with the status quo, in which we pay attention to infectious disease threats only when they are at their peak and then are complacent and remain vulnerable until the next major outbreak. To reinforce and sustain international focus, funding, and action, it is crucial that pandemics rise to the level of “high politics,” becoming standing agenda items for political actors."

In this lecture, Professor Lawrence Gostin makes the case for fundamental reform of the international system to safeguard global health security. He builds on the action agenda offered by four international commissions formed in the wake of the Ebola epidemic, calling for the recommended “peace dividend” (an annual incremental investment of $4.5 billion – 65 cents per person) to strengthen global preparedness, for the United Nations to play a greater role in responding to major global health and humanitarian emergencies, and for an effective and efficient R&D strategy with multiple stakeholders—governments, academics, industry, and civil society—identifying R&D priorities and leading a coordinated response.

The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception and the opportunity to purchase Professor Gostin's book Global Health Law

About Lawrence Gostin

‌Lawrence O. Gostin is University Professor, Georgetown University's highest academic rank conferred by the University President. Prof. Gostin directs the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law and was the Founding O'Neill Chair in Global Health Law. Prof. Gostin is the Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Public Health Law & Human Rights. The WHO Director-General has appointed Prof. Gostin to high-level positions, including the International Health Regulations (IHR) Roster of Experts and the Expert Advisory Panel on Mental Health. He served on the Director-General's Advisory Committee on Reforming the World Health Organization, as well as numerous WHO expert advisory committees on Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework, smallpox, and genomic sequencing data. He is a member of the WHO/Global Fund Blue Ribbon Expert Panel entitled, The Equitable Access Initiative to develop a global health equity framework.

Professor Gostin served on three global commissions to report on the lessons learned from the 2015 West Africa Ebola epidemic:

  • Commission on a Global Health Risk Framework: The international, independent, multi-stakeholder expert commission of the National Academy of Medicine, with oversight by WHO, World Bank, Gates Foundation, and Rockefeller Foundation
  • Independent Panel on the Global Response to Ebola (Harvard/London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)
  • Advisor, United Nations High-Level Panel on Global Response to Health Crises

Contact information

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