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November 7, 2018
Contact: HHS Press Office
[email protected]

HHS Officials Deliver Remarks at the Fifth Annual Global Health Security Agenda Ministerial Meeting

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar delivered a video message at the Fifth Annual Global Health Security Agenda (GSHA) Ministerial Meeting. His remarks focused on the Trump Administration’s commitment to strengthening global health security.

To watch his video, please click here.

To view his remarks online, please click here.

Following Secretary Azar’s video message at the meeting, Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan delivered remarks where he announced the U.S. will commit an additional $150 million to support capacity strengthening in high-risk countries around the world.

As Prepared for Delivery

Good afternoon.  Thank you for this opportunity to participate in this important meeting.

As Secretary Azar said in his message, we look forward to working with all of you, through GHSA 2024, to achieve our shared global health security goals.

Global health security is fundamentally a health issue. It is about protecting our populations and the well-being of our citizens. It is about preparing for inevitable infectious disease outbreaks that have the potential to cross national borders and indiscriminately affect our people, our communities and our countries.

For the United States—and for many of our partners—it is also a national security priority, actually laid out in our National Security and National Biodefense Strategies. To implement these strategies, we engage with multiple sectors and partners, both in the United States and abroad, because this is a health issue that no single country or sector can adequately address by itself.

We are committed to collaborating across borders and across sectors to strengthen the capacities to prevent, detect and respond to disease outbreaks and other public health emergencies.

One of the biggest challenges the global community faces in our fight against the threat of infectious diseases is maintaining the high-level support needed to ensure that preparedness is a national priority for all countries.

The United States supports GHSA 2024 at the highest levels of our government—from President Trump to his department and agency leaders, like Secretary Azar, to our scientific experts and on-the-ground staff around the world.

We also have significant interest and participation from the private sector, which should be seen as an indispensable player in global health security.

The GHSA 2024 target is achievable so long as we have strong commitments and actions from the countries, multilateral organizations, and non-governmental stakeholders represented here today.

The United States is ready and eager to do its part, by working hard domestically to be one of the 100-plus countries to help achieve the GHSA 2024 target. But further, I am pleased to announce today that the United States will commit an additional $150 million to support capacity strengthening in high-risk countries around the world.

We are working to strengthen our capacities at home as well, through our recently released, prioritized post-JEE National Action Plan for Health Security, which we are committed to implementing.

Today is a milestone for global health security, a chance to celebrate what we have accomplished together.

But there is so much more work to do.  We are going to achieve our goal, but only by working together.

Let us commit to each other that, five years from now, we will have made meaningful progress toward the finish line of a world that is genuinely safe and secure from global health threats posed by infectious diseases. I have no doubt that together we can do it.

Thank you.

Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other news materials are available at https://www.hhs.gov/news.
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Last revised: November 7, 2018

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