WASHINGTON — Vice President Kamala Harris informed United Nations members on Monday that now’s the time for world leaders to start placing the intense work into how they’ll reply to the subsequent world pandemic.
The digital tackle, Harris’ second to a U.N. physique since her inauguration, comes as the USA makes progress on vaccinating the general public and far of the world struggles to amass vaccines.
“On the identical time that the world works to get by way of this pandemic, we additionally know that we should put together for the subsequent,” Harris mentioned in remarks launched by her workplace. The closed assembly was co-hosted by U.N. everlasting representatives of Argentina, Japan, Norway and South Africa.
The Biden administration will mark its first 100 days in workplace this week. President Joe Biden is scheduled to handle Congress on Wednesday and is for certain to focus on the headway his administration has made in responding to the worst public well being disaster within the U.S. in additional than a century.
Harris’ remarks broadly define how the administration thinks the U.S. and different nations ought to contemplate focusing their consideration. The steps embody bettering accessibility to well being programs, investing in science, well being staff and the well-being of ladies, and surging capability for private protecting gear and vaccine and take a look at manufacturing.
Harris mentioned a lot has been discovered over the past 12 months about pandemic preparedness and response however that it might be unwise to relaxation straightforward.
“We’ve been reminded that the established order shouldn’t be almost adequate, and that innovation is certainly the trail ahead,” Harris mentioned.
U.N. Secretary-Basic Antonio Guterres mentioned in video remarks that the world would have been higher ready “to climate the COVID-19 disaster” if higher progress had been made in reaching U.N. growth objectives reminiscent of eliminating excessive poverty, which now has a 2030 goal date, in line with U.N. deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq.
The U.N. chief mentioned that to forestall new emergencies the world must work collectively, “make peace with nature, … put money into threat surveillance and social security nets,” anticipate crises and put together for future pandemics, Haq mentioned.
The U.S. Mission to the United Nations mentioned Harris and the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, “highlighted the necessity to take proactive motion now to create a long-lasting world well being safety structure that may strengthen well being programs and make the world extra resilient within the face of future pandemics.”
They referred to as Monday’s assembly “an vital first step” towards pandemic preparedness and made clear that stopping the subsequent pandemic would require sturdy partnerships and collaboration around the globe, the U.S. mission mentioned.
Harris and Thomas-Greenfield expressed hope that the dialogue will proceed, together with on the upcoming Rome World Well being Summit and the World Well being Meeting subsequent month, the U.S. Mission readout mentioned.
“The takeaway from this previous 12 months is evident: The world barely withstood this pandemic,” Thomas-Greenfield says in excerpts of her ready remarks. “We have to be prepared for the subsequent.”
Aamer Madhani, The Related Press. Related Press writers Darlene Superville in Washington and Edith M. Lederer on the United Nations contributed to this report.