Health Security An Integral Part Of International Security, Experts Warn 20/02/2017 by Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Microsoft founder and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Co-Chair Bill Gates called on governments gathered at the annual Munich Security Conference this week to not “ignore the link between health security and international security.” Bill Gates at Munich Security Conference 18 February Speaking at the 53rd edition of the high-level meeting (17-19 February) that focusses on international relations, Gates warned against bioterrorism and the gaps in preparedness for epidemics in the least developed countries. “Whether it occurs by a quirk of nature or at the hand of a terrorist, epidemiologists say a fast-moving airborne pathogen could kill more than 30 million people in less than a year,” said Gates. “And they say there is a reasonable probability the world will experience such an outbreak in the next 10-15 years.” It was described as encouraging that global alliances like the G7 and the G20 are beginning to put a focus on pandemic preparedness, and acknowledgement was made that 67 countries are expected to have completed independent assessments of their epidemic readiness by the end of this year. But there is a lack of money to help the poorest countries with epidemic preparation. Pandemic preparedness worldwide was estimated to cost $3.4 billion a year, Gates said, “yet the projected annual loss from a pandemic could run as high as $570 billion.” Gates in Munich also signed a memorandum of understanding with the German Minister for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ) to intensify joint work to reach Agenda 2030 goals. This includes joint programmes related to financial inclusion, food security, rural development and access to water. Programmes already underway according to the BMZ are the “Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme”, the “African Cashew Initiative”, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and Gavi Alliance. Germany this year has the G20 presidency. Stern Reminder from MSF Joanne Liu, international president of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, Doctors Without Borders), in a fervent call to governments said, bioterrorism and new epidemics are not the only thing to address for foreign and defence secretaries and their health department colleagues. While applauding efforts like Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, Liu said: “The global health security agenda promotes strengthening health systems to be best prepared for the next pandemic. The war on terrorism allows hospitals to be attacked, health systems to be destroyed. You built, you strengthened and then you destroy. If you are really driven to improve global health security, you must acknowledge that bombing hospitals is your problem, too.” A chapter in this year’s Munich Security Report is dedicated to health security. Image Credits: Bildquelle: MSC / Kuhlmann Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Monika Ermert may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org."Health Security An Integral Part Of International Security, Experts Warn" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.