On 16 October 2023, the Paris Peace Forum hosted a session at the World Health Summit to "Incentivize Early Warning for Pandemics". During this panel, moderated by Justin Vaïsse, the Forum's Founder & Director General, invaluable perspectives on pandemic preparedness and the development of solidarity mechanisms were discussed by high-level panelists. Their insights are shaping the way forward by putting fair benefit-sharing of scientific discoveries and innovations at the center of the conversation.
As the COVID-19 pandemic showed, access to genetic sequence data is crucial to respond early to a health threat. While data being used to develop new medical products often comes from scientific institutions in the Global South, it rarely leads to compensation or access to medical countermeasures needed to fight a pandemic. This inequity was striking during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need for fair benefit-sharing is identified as a critical issue for pandemic preparedness in negotiations for a pandemic accord.
This session explored opportunities for alternative solidarity mechanisms to compensate actors and fairly share benefits resulting from scientific discovery and contributions to innovation, ultimately enhancing resources available for early detection and warning. Panelists discussed whether such an approach to benefit-sharing can support ongoing multilateral discussions, and options to make this a robust and effective tool to improve our collective health security.
Founder and Director-General, Paris Peace Forum
French Ambassador for Global Health, Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs,
Dr. Catharina Boehme
Assistant Director-General External Relations and Governance, World Health Organization (WHO)
Head of the Health Division, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
Director, Translation, Biosecurity Technical Platforms, Ginkgo Bioworks
Dr. Magda Robalo
President, Institute of Global Health and Development
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