The Science Summit at UNGA in New York will play host to a stellar line-up of global health experts, who will come together on Thursday 14th September to set out the concrete actions leaders need to make the 100 Days Mission for Pandemic Preparedness a reality.
Held on the margins of the 78th UN General Assembly, President of the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Dr. Victor Dzau, and former BARDA Director Dr. Rick Bright will welcome delegates to a panel discussion that will focus on the 100 Days Mission, a global framework to prepare as much as possible, so that within the first 100 days of a pandemic threat being identified, vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics can be made available.
The panel will also feature US Director of CEPI, Dr Nicole Lurie (formerly Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the US Department of Health and Human Services), Africa CDC's Acting Chief Scientific Officer Dr Shingai Machingaidze, and Dr Ruxandra Draghia-Akli, Global Head of Johnson & Johnson Global Public Health R&D, with closing remarks delivered by Dr Mariângela Simão, former WHO Assistant Director-General for Drug Access Vaccines and Pharmaceuticals.
Audience members will have the opportunity to put questions to the panellists, five of whom are members of the 100 Days Mission Science and Technology Expert Group (STEG), an international group that galvanises support from the scientific community on pandemic preparedness and supports the implementation of the 100 Days Mission.
In an interactive conversation, they will draw on decades of expertise at the world's most prestigious health bodies and companies to highlight the interconnected nature of pandemic preparedness and the wider SDGs for health, considering the most urgent question of our time: how can we ensure we are as prepared as possible for the next pandemic?
The event will take place ahead of the UNGA High-Level Meeting on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response, where leaders will seek to keep health security firmly on the radar, in the face of multiple competing crises.
Dr Victor Dzau said: "I'm delighted to be joined by my fellow 100 Days Mission STEG members and our partners CEPI at this special event, which will focus on what is needed now - both technically and politically - to achieve the 100 Days Mission, and ensure the world is much better prepared to face the next threat. We cannot let pandemic fatigue be the defining sentiment of the hour - but instead resolve to learn the lessons, and push forwards to ensure equitable access to diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines."
Declan Kirrane, Chairman of the Science Summit, remarked, "The Science Summit serves as a pivotal platform to propel science to the forefront of the UN's Summit of the Future 2024 and the encompassing Post-SDG Agenda. The 100 Days Mission is an essential and timely endeavour, poised to enhance inclusive global policy coherence and fortify both human and technical capacities vital for pandemic readiness."
This convening comes hot on the heels of the publication of a new editorial in The Lancet, in which 100 Days Mission STEG members set out their vision for the functions of a new medical countermeasures network, emphasising the importance of multisectoral partnerships, R&D funding coordination, regional manufacturing and streamlined regulatory processes, among other key recommendations.
The UN Science Summit 100 Days Mission panel takes place on Thursday 14th September at 11:30am ET; delegates can register for in-person or virtual participation here.