The 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA77) comes to a close, today, September 27th as world leaders and civil society representatives leave New York after discussing critical issues ranging from conflicts and crises around the globe to the need for stronger international cooperation about how to face challenges like global health and climate change.
Major topics of discussion:
- Strengthening public health systems, including the health workforce,
- Conflicts and crises around the world,
- Creating and supporting research and innovation capacity worldwide to allow for better and increased vaccine production,
- Agricultural transformations to modernize and encourage enhanced food production to ensure global food security,
- Supply chain problems that continue to persist as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,
- Inflation rates are dramatically reducing purchasing power and increasing the cost of necessities like food and transportation,
- Fossil fuels and green energies,
- Transparency, effectiveness, and accountability for all UN bodies, including Security Council reform,
- Freedom, democracy, building greater prosperity, and
- Promoting global cooperation to narrow the digital divide.
On the sidelines of UNGA77, leaders gathered for the seventh replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria and to discuss the regression in global health progress caused by COVID-19. The Global Fund replenishment raised $14.25 billion for its work for the next three years, shy of its $18 billion goal (though some pledges are still outstanding).
There were also far broader discussions about strengthening the global health architecture, pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response (PPR), and how to finance it. More than 100 countries co-sponsored a resolution adopted by the general assembly to hold a high-level meeting at the heads-of-state and government-level on pandemic preparedness and response by September 2023. Conversations on PPR were predominantly focused on the new financial intermediary fund, housed at the World Bank, meant to provide a stream of long-term PPR financing.
We saw concern for the future of Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) and learned that there is a desire to retain, at the very least, the coordination functions of the framework, post-COVID-19.
We saw countries voice stronger concerns about our collective ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, due to the multiple ongoing crises around the world and we also heard a loud call to develop and strengthen sustainable policies and expand essential services to address exacerbated inequality, poverty, and hunger, particularly among the most vulnerable populations.
As the global heatlh community continues our efforts to achieve health and well-being for all, Global Health Council will continue to engage in these fora to highlight this important work and coordinate with our membership and policymakers for how to best achieve these goals.