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Statement by Italy’s Minister of Health Orazio Schillaci at the 78th UN General Assembly’s High-level Meeting on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response, UNGA78

Excellencies, Distinguished colleagues,

The UNGA can play indeed a major role in enhancing political momentum and commitment with regard to health emergencies and in promoting the central and coordinating role of the World Health Organization in global health architecture.

We should of course keep supporting also the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body in order to conclude the negotiations on a legally binding WHO CA+ on pandemic PPR by May 2024 and the Working Group on Amendments to the IHR, prioritizing equity and recognizing that an inclusive process is key.

It is essential to commit to strengthening multilateralism in order to address global health inequities.

in this regard, I welcome the efforts of the Pandemic Fund towards strengthening LMICs’ capacity to mitigate the risks of future global health threats. As my country championed its creation, I underline the importance of securing new donors for the PF and integrating its operations within the Global Health Architecture.

At a national level, Italy promoted a robust COVID-19 response, based on the strong coordination of Health and Finance Ministries.

During its G20 Presidency, Italy fostered the establishment of Joint Finance Health Task Force to advance the international agenda on PPR financing. This year, the Task Force, in collaboration with WHO, World Bank, EIB and IMF, developed a set of strategic analyses for better understanding the impacts, costs and needs of the pandemic threats.

I am glad that in New Delhi the G20 Leaders reconfirmed the Joint Ginance Health Task Force role as a unique forum to deliver on PPR financing solutions.

Strengthening the capacities for PPR at local, national and regional level is crucial , especially with regard to the health public work force which represents the first line to face health emergencies. We need to increase investments in work force education and training.

Finally, COVID-19 highlighted the links between human, animal and environmental health. The zoonotic origin of the last decades’ outbreaks and pandemics cannot be ignored anymore.

We need to make substantive and effective steps to implement the One Health approach, also recognizing that environmental protection and climate change mitigation improve human health and strengthen health system resilience.