Spanning 116 States, World’s Five Nuclear Weapon Free Zones Must Use Political Capital to Advance Common Disarmament Goals, Speakers Tell First Committee

Casting a spotlight on regional efforts to advance common disarmament goals, delegates in the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) addressed the current and potential contribution of nuclear‑weapon‑free zones to glo…

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Biographical notes

Donald Bobiash (BA [Political Science], University of Saskatchewan, 1980; Laval University, 1982; certificate, Ecole Nationale d’Administration et de Magistrature, Senegal, 1983; MA [Industrial Relations and Personnel Management], London School of Economics, 1984; DPhil [International Relations], Oxford University, 1989). Mr. Bobiash is a Rhodes Scholar and has received the Commonwealth and Rotary International graduate scholarships. He worked for Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Finance from 1980 to 1981 and as a part-time consultant to Oxford Analytica Daily Brief and the International Development Research Centre from 1986 to 1988. He joined the Department of External Affairs in 1989. His first overseas assignment was as second secretary in the Canadian high commission to Pakistan, where he served from 1990 to 1992. From 1996 to 2000, he served as counsellor and consul in the embassy to Japan. He was appointed high commissioner to Ghana and ambassador to Togo in 2004. From 2006 to 2009, he was deputy head of mission in Tokyo and from 2013 to 2016, ambassador to Indonesia, Timor-Leste and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. At Headquarters, his first assignment was with the Francophone Affairs Division in 1989; he transferred to the South America Relations Division in 1990. From 1992 to 1994, he served in the Economic Relations with Developing Countries Division. He served as deputy director of the South Asia Division in 2000 and as deputy director of the Policy Planning Division in 2001. From 2002 to 2004, he was director of the Southeast Asia Division. In 2009, he was named director general for Africa. He is married to Teresa Rozkiewicz, and they have two children, Ariane and Catherine.

Ian Burney (BA Hons [Political Science], McGill University, 1985; MA [International Relations], University of Toronto, 1986) joined the Department of External Affairs in 1987. Abroad, Mr. Burney served as third and second secretary at the embassy in Bangkok from 1989 to 1991 and as consul and senior trade commissioner at the consulate general in Ho Chi Minh City from 1995 to 1997. In Ottawa, he was seconded as a policy analyst to the Foreign and Defence Policy Secretariat in the Privy Council Office from 1993 to 1995. At Headquarters, he has occupied a number of positions in the United States, Asia Pacific and trade policy branches. He served as the director of the Trade Controls Policy Division from 1999 to 2002, director of the Trade Remedies Division from 2002 to 2004, director general of the Bilateral and Regional Trade Policy Bureau from 2004 to 2006 and as chief trade negotiator (bilateral and regional) in the Trade Policy and Negotiations Branch from 2006 to 2009. From 2009 to 2011, Mr. Burney served as assistant deputy minister of the International Business Development, Investment and Innovation Branch and from 2011 to 2015, as assistant deputy minister, trade agreements and negotiations. Mr. Burney received the 2014 Outstanding Achievement Award of the Public Service of Canada. In July 2015, he was appointed assistant secretary to the cabinet for economic and regional development policy, in the Privy Council Office. Mr. Burney is married and has four children.

Perry Calderwood (BA Hons [Soviet and East European Studies], Carleton University, 1983; MA [International Affairs], Carleton University, 1986) joined the Department of External Affairs in 1986. During his time at Headquarters, he was the director for Eastern and Southern Africa and deputy to the personal representative of the prime minister for Africa (2004 to 2007), deputy director of the United Nations and Commonwealth Affairs Division (1998 to 2000), and also served in the Arms Control and Disarmament Division (1989 to 1992). He served overseas at missions including New York City, Bogotá, Moscow, Buenos Aires and Pretoria. He was ambassador to Venezuela (2007 to 2010) and to Senegal (2010 to 2013) and high commissioner to Nigeria (2013 to 2016).

Heather Cameron (BA Hons [Political Science], Carleton University, 1987; MA [Public Policy], King’s College London, 2009) joined External Affairs and International Trade Canada in 1990 and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in 1992. During her career, she has had a number of assignments in the Africa and Middle East Bureau, including as director of the pan-African and Francophonie programs. She has also served as director of strategic initiatives (2009 to 2012) and director of the Human Development and Gender Equality Division (2012 to 2013). Since 2013, she has been the senior director of the Haiti and Dominican Republic Division. Overseas assignments include the high commission in Harare, Zimbabwe (1992 to 1996), where she was responsible for regional humanitarian affairs, and the high commission in Maputo, Mozambique (2004 to 2007), where she served as counsellor and director (development).

Janice Charette (BA [Commerce], Carleton University, 1984) served as Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet from October 2014 to January 2016. She was appointed Deputy Clerk of the Privy Council and Associate Secretary to the Cabinet in January 2013 and deputy minister of intergovernmental affairs and Associate Secretary to the Cabinet in November 2010. Her previous positions in the public service include senior assistant deputy minister for policy at the Department of Justice Canada (1999 to 2001); assistant secretary to Cabinet for priorities and planning (2001 to 2002), and deputy secretary to the Cabinet for planning and consultations (2002 to 2003), both in the Privy Council Office; associate deputy minister at Health Canada (2003 to 2004); deputy minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (2004 to 2006); and deputy minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada as well as chairperson of the Canada Employment Insurance Commission (2006 to 2010). Ms. Charette was director of the transition team for the newly formed Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in 1998 and principal at Ernst & Young LLP from 1995 to 1997. She is married to Reg Charette, and they have two adult children, Jed and Cassie.

Antoine Chevrier (BA [Economics], Laval University, 1993; MA [International Relations], Laval University, 1996) started working with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in 1997. At Headquarters, he was director of the Haiti Bilateral Development Program, as well as director of the transition team in charge of amalgamating CIDA with Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada in 2013. In 2014, he was appointed director general of the Geographic Coordination and Mission Support Bureau. He has served abroad in positions including, from 2009 to 2013, director of the development program at the Canadian embassy to Peru and Bolivia. From 2002 to 2006 he assumed various functions, including chief of staff in the Executive Secretariat for Integral Development at the Organization of American States, in Washington, D.C. Mr. Chevrier is married to Catherine Vézina; they have a daughter, Philomène.

Chris Cooter (BA Hons [Political Science], University of Toronto, 1981; MA [Political Science], Columbia University, 1982; BCL, LLB [Common/Civil Law], McGill University, 1986) was an associate at Campney & Murphy, a Vancouver law firm (1987 to 1989), then acting manager of lands for the British Columbia region of the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs (1989 to 1990). He joined External Affairs and International Trade Canada in 1990. He served abroad as deputy permanent representative to the Joint Delegation of Canada to NATO, as political officer in the Canadian high commissions to India and Kenya and as high commissioner to Nigeria. At Headquarters, he served as director of the Policy Planning division and of the Southeast Europe division. He served as director general responsible for the amalgamation of the Canadian International Development Agency and Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. Most recently, he was director general of the Executive Management and Assignments Division. He has two children, Zoe and Anais.

Jennifer Daubeny (BA [International Relations], University of British Columbia, 1984; MPA, University of Victoria, 1990) joined the Department of External Affairs in 1988. She was posted as a trade commissioner to the Canadian embassy in Prague (1990 to 1993), and in 1995 she opened and headed Canada’s first consulate in Guadalajara, Mexico, where she served for three years. She served as senior trade commissioner at Canada’s high commission in London (2009 to 2013). At Headquarters she has held positions in the International Financial and Investment Affairs, Agricultural Trade Policy, Caribbean and Central America Relations, Technical Barriers and Regulations, and U.S. Transboundary divisions. She also served as director of the Middle East and Africa Commercial Relations Division (2007 to 2009) and  Investor Services Division, responsible for attracting foreign direct investment to Canada (2013 to 2014). Her most recent position was director of the Science, Technology and Innovation Division. She and her partner David Springgay have two sons, Alex and Eric.

Lise Filiatrault (BSc [Biology], Université du Québec à Montréal, 1983; Graduate Studies Diploma in International Development and Cooperation, University of Ottawa, 1989) joined External Affairs and International Trade Canada in 1990 as a foreign service officer. Previously, she served in Cameroon with Centre d’études et de coopération internationale and worked with Crossroads International in Montréal. Ms. Filiatrault served in Georgetown, Guyana (1992 to 1994); in Santiago, Chile (1996 to 2000); and in Havana, Cuba (2002 to 2005). Ms. Filiatrault also held various positions at the Canadian International Development Agency, such as director of the Middle East Program (2005 to 2008), regional director general of the Europe, Middle East and Maghreb Directorate (2009 to 2010) and regional director general of the Americas Directorate (2010 to 2013). At Headquarters, she was assistant deputy minister for the Sub-Saharan Africa Branch (2013 to 2016). Ms. Filiatrault and her spouse Richard Boisvert have two daughters, Frédérique and Gabrielle.

Emi Furuya (BA Hons [Political Science specialization, French Literature major], University of Toronto, 1996; MA [Political Science], University of Toronto, 1997) worked as a consultant for the Canadian International Development Agency, specializing in democratization and good governance before joining the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 1999. Ms. Furuya has served abroad as political counsellor at the embassy in Paris (2006 to 2010), as second secretary (political) at the embassy in Tokyo (2000 to 2003) and as junior adviser at the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations in New York City (1999). In Ottawa, she has worked on Commonwealth affairs; managed peace support operations, including security sector policy and deployments; and served as deputy director for the department’s international assistance envelope and international financial institutions division. She has also served as deputy director for the G7 and G20 summits, as director of the Office of the Senior Associate Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and, most recently, as executive director of the Office of the Deputy Minister of International Development. Ms. Furuya and her spouse have two sons.

Carla Hogan Rufelds (BSc [Forestry], University of New Brunswick, 1983) joined the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in January 1995. During her time at Headquarters, Ms. Hogan Rufelds was a senior program officer and forestry adviser for the Asia Branch (1995 to 1999) and the manager for policy and strategic planning in the Canadian Partnership Branch (2003 to 2008). She served as director for sustainable economic growth, food security and environment in the Strategic Policy and Performance Branch and the Global Issues and Development Branch (2008 to 2014). More recently, Ms. Hogan Rufelds was the director of strategic planning and operations for the Latin America and Caribbean region (2014 to 2016). She served abroad in Kathmandu at the Office of the Canadian Embassy and at CIDA’s Canadian Cooperation Office as the Canadian representative (1999 to 2003). She also worked abroad in Rome as a forestry officer in the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (1990 to 1993). Ms. Hogan Rufelds is married to Dan Hogan and has two children, Liam and Sylva.

Masud Husain (BA, Laval University, 1988; LLB, McGill University, 1991) joined External Affairs and International Trade Canada in 1991. He was desk officer in the Legal Advisory Division (1995 to 1997). He was deputy director of the Oceans and Environmental Law Division (1999 to 2002) and of the Criminal, Security and Treaty Law Division (2003 to 2006). He was later executive director of the Criminal, Security and Diplomatic Law Division (2013 to 2016). In his overseas positions, he was posted to Amman as the political officer responsible for Iraq (1992 to 1995). He served in Damascus as head of the Political Section (1997 to 1999). In The Hague, he served as counsellor in the Political Section (2005 to 2009). He served as minister-counsellor and political coordinator in the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations in New York (2009 to 2013). Most recently, he was director general of the Middle East and Maghreb Bureau. He is married to Laila El Fenne, and they have two children, Omar and Lalla Miriem.

Ping Kitnikone (BA [Pacific Studies and Economics], University of Victoria, 1991; MPA, University of Victoria, 1994) joined External Affairs and International Trade Canada in 1994. During her time at Headquarters, Ms. Kitnikone has worked in the International Financial Institutions Division, the Policy Development and Integration Division,  the North Asia Commercial Relations Division and, most recently, at the Centre of Learning for International Affairs and Management (2014 to 2016). Postings overseas have included Beijing, Taipei and Bangkok (with concurrent accreditation to Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar). In 2004, she was appointed consul general in Mumbai. Ms. Kitnikone and her spouse, Jean-Stéphane Couture, have two children.

Marie Legault (BA [Political Science], University of Geneva, 1988; MA [International Relations], Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Switzerland, 1991) joined the Canadian International Development Agency in 1996. At Headquarters, she served as director, Central America Division (2006 to 2008) and director of programming, Haiti Division (2014 to 2016). Ms. Legault also served in the Privy Council Office in the Foreign and Defence Policy Secretariat (2002 to 2005). Abroad, she was posted to the High Commission of Canada to Jamaica, serving as head of the Cooperation Program (2010 to 2014). Ms. Legault is widowed and has one child, a daughter, Alexa.

Matthew Levin (BA, University of Manitoba, 1975; MA [International Economics], Monterey Institute of International Studies, California, 1984) was most recently director general of Global Affairs Canada’s Europe-Eurasia Bureau. He was previously director of operations at the Foreign and Defence Policy Secretariat of the Privy Council Office, and served as ambassador to Colombia, from 2005 to 2008, and to Cuba, from 2010 to 2013. After joining the Department of External Affairs in 1986, Mr. Levin served abroad in Washington as economic counsellor and in Moscow as deputy head of mission. At Headquarters, Mr. Levin’s assignments also include two years as chief of staff to two deputy ministers. Prior to joining the department, Mr. Levin taught English literature at the University of Milan and worked for Amnesty International in Canada. He is married to Rosalba Imbrogno Levin. They have three adult children.

Deborah Lyons (BSc Hons [Biology], University of New Brunswick; certificate, National Defence College) was a successful small business owner for seven years prior to joining the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources in 1983. In 1986, Ms. Lyons joined the Privy Council Office as a senior policy analyst. From 1987 to 1999, Ms. Lyons worked with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), first as director for business networks, then as director of policy and planning and later as director of trade and technology. During her time with ACOA, she briefly left, joining the Department of National Defence to attend National Defence College. In 1999, Ms. Lyons joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and was assigned to Tokyo as a counsellor for high-tech industries. She returned to Ottawa in 2004 to become director for international finance and then director general of the North America Commercial Bureau. In 2009, she was promoted to assistant deputy minister for policy and planning and filled the new position of chief strategy officer. She was deputy head of mission at the embassy in Washington, D.C., from 2010 to 2013. In 2013, she was appointed ambassador to Afghanistan.

Peter MacDougall (BA [Political Science], University of British Columbia, 1988; BSW, University of Victoria, 1992; MSW, McGill University, 1998; MA [International Relations], Université Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne, 2014; Diploma, École nationale d’administration, Strasbourg, 2014) worked in the non-profit sector prior to joining Health Canada in 2000. Following senior analyst and manager positions at Health Canada, Canadian Heritage, and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), Mr. MacDougall became director of HRSDC’s Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Initiative in 2004. In 2006, he became director of Intergovernmental and Stakeholder Relations at Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). He subsequently was director general, Admissibility Policy, and director general, Refugee Affairs, at CIC before joining the Foreign and Defence Policy Secretariat at the Privy Council Office in 2011 as director of operations. Since January 2015, Mr. MacDougall has been the assistant secretary to the Cabinet for Foreign and Defence Policy. He is married to Rachel Aslan and they have four children.

Ian Myles (BSc [International Development], University of Toronto, 1991; MSc [Natural Resource and Environmental Economics], University of Guelph, 2000) joined the Canadian International Development Agency in 2000 after seven years working with various non-governmental organizations in Canada and Latin America. During his time at Headquarters, he has worked as an environment specialist in Africa Branch (2000 to 2008), director of strategic analysis and operations for Southern and Eastern Africa (2011 to 2014) and senior director for the Panafrica and Regional Program (2014 to 2015). His overseas positions include deputy director of the development program (2008 to 2010) and then senior director and head of cooperation (2010 to 2011) at Canada’s high commission to Ghana. Since August 2015, Mr. Myles has been senior director and head of cooperation at the high commission to Tanzania. He is married and has two sons.

Jeff Nankivell (BA Hons [International Relations], University of Toronto, 1986; MSc with distinction [Political Sociology], London School of Economics and Political Science, 1988) joined the foreign service in 1988. Mr. Nankivell served in various capacities with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA): at Headquarters, he worked as a development officer with the China Division (1988 to 1989)a country analyst with the Russia Division (1995 to 1998), as a senior program manager for the World Bank Group in the International Financial Institutions Division (1998 to 2000), as director of the Strategic Policy Division in the Policy Branch (2004 to 2006) and as director of the China and Northeast Asia Division (2006 to 2008). Mr. Nankivell was also posted to the embassy in Beijing on several occasions, serving as first secretary (1991 to 1995), counsellor (2000 to 2002), as head of the Development Section (2000 to 2004) and as minister and deputy head of mission (2008 to 2011). In August 2011, Mr. Nankivell returned to CIDA Headquarters to serve as director general of the Asia Bureau. In 2013, he became director general of development programming for the Asia Pacific Branch at DFATD. Mr. Nankivell is married to Alison Nankivell. They have two sons, Sam and Alex.

Olivier Nicoloff (BA [Political Science], McGill University, 1978; MA [International Relations], Laval University, 1982) joined the Department of External Affairs in 1987. At Headquarters, he worked in the Human Resources Directorate (1991 to 1993) and held the position of coordinator of the Anti-personnel Mine Action Team (1999 to 2002). Overseas, he served in Abidjan (1988 to 1989), Dakar (1989 to 1991), Tunis (1993 to 1996), Moscow (1996 to 1999) and Prague (2002 to 2006). Upon his return to Ottawa, he served as director of the Intergovernmental Relations Division (2006 to 2009), of the Democracy, Commonwealth and La Francophonie Division (2009 to 2012) and of the European Union and Europe Bilateral and Institutional Relations Division (2012 to 2016). Mr. Nicoloff is married to Isabelle Guévin, and they have two adult children, Raphaël and Catherine.

Patrick Parisot (CGE [Business Management], HEC Montréal, 1976; BSp Rel Hum [Psychology of Communications], University of Quebec at Montréal, 1979; BA [Political Science], University of Quebec at Montréal, 1984; CIJ [Information and Journalism], University of Montréal, 1987) has been an independent public relations and communications professional since 2011. He was principal secretary to the leader of the Official Opposition (2010 to 2011) and served as press secretary and special policy adviser in the Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition and the Office of the Prime Minister (1993 to 2001). He has served as ambassador to Algeria (2007 to 2010), Portugal (2003 to 2007) and Chile (2001 to 2003). He and his spouse, Carmen Altamirano, have three sons.

Donica Pottie (BA [Asian Studies], St. Mary’s University, 1985) joined External Affairs and International Trade Canada in 1991. She was third and second secretary at the embassy in China (1993 to 1996), served in assignments at the embassy in Jordan as head of the political section (1999 to 2002) and was ambassador to Cambodia (2004 to 2007). She was the director of several divisions: Democracy and Governance Policy (2007 to 2010), Development Policy and Institutions (2012 to 2013) and Peace Operations and Fragile States Policy (2013 to 2015). In 2015, she became director general of consular operations. She is married to Scot Slessor, and they have a daughter, Sophie.

Isabelle Poupart (LLB, University of Montréal, 1992; LLM [International Law], University of Montréal, 1994) joined the Quebec Bar in 1993 and worked as a lawyer prior to joining the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 1995. At Headquarters, she worked in the Legal Bureau and in the International Economic Relations and Summits and the Defence and Security Relations divisions. Her first assignment abroad was at the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations in New York. She also worked for the Conflict Prevention Centre of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna. She served twice at the Joint Delegation of Canada to NATO in Brussels—the second time as head of the Political Section. Upon her return to Ottawa, she worked as senior adviser to the assistant deputy minister for Global Issues, Strategic Policy and Europe. Most recently, she was ambassador and permanent representative of Canada to the OSCE. She is married to Reinhard Bettzuege, and they have a daughter.

Barbara Richardson (BA, University of Alberta, 1972) began her career at the University of Calgary in 1974 and entered the public service in 1984, working with the Canadian Human Rights Commission in Alberta and the Northwest Territories and with Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s International Region. She joined External Affairs and International Trade Canada in 1989. She has had assignments in the Philippines, as well as in Kenya, where she served as political counsellor and deputy head of mission (with accreditation to Burundi, Eritrea, Rwanda, Somalia and Uganda) and as deputy permanent representative to the United Nations Environment Programme and to the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements. In 2005, she was appointed high commissioner to Bangladesh and, in 2008, ambassador to Zimbabwe and Angola and high commissioner to Botswana. Since her return to Canada in 2011, she has worked as director general for consular operations, director general for mission operations and client relations and, most recently, as the department’s inspector general. She has one adult son.

Ulric Shannon (BA Hons [History and Political Science], McGill University, 1997; MA [International Relations], Graduate Diploma in Security Studies, York University, 1998) joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 1999. In Ottawa, he has served as director of the Media Relations Office. He also served as the executive assistant to the assistant deputy minister for global and security policy and as a desk officer in both the Regional Security and Peacekeeping Division and the Eastern and Southern Africa Division. Abroad, Mr. Shannon has served as a political and public affairs officer in Cairo, senior political officer in Ramallah and first secretary in Islamabad. He was awarded the department’s foreign-language fellowship to pursue advanced studies in Arabic from 2012 to 2013, and during that time he also served as Canada’s first representative to the Syrian opposition. Most recently, Mr. Shannon was based in Istanbul as country director for ARK, a stabilization consultancy. He is married to Robin Wettlaufer.

Phyllis Yaffe (BA, University of Manitoba, 1969; BLS, University of Alberta, 1972; MSc [Library Science], University of Toronto, 1976) has had a distinguished career in both the private and not-for-profit sectors. Ms. Yaffe has served as chair of the board of Cineplex Entertainment, lead director of Torstar Corporation and as a member of the boards of Lionsgate Entertainment and Blue Ant Media. A former board member of Astral Media, for many years she served as a senior officer, and ultimately as chief executive officer, of Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc. At Alliance Atlantis, Ms. Yaffe oversaw worldwide operations, including Canadian specialty-television channels, international television distribution business and the popular CSI television franchise. Ms. Yaffe has also served as chair of the board of governors of Ryerson University, of the Ontario Science Centre board and of Women Against Multiple Sclerosis. She also served on the World Wildlife Fund board and was executive director of the Association of Canadian Publishers. Ms. Yaffe has earned a long list of awards, including an induction into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Broadcast Hall of Fame in 2007.

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FACT SHEET: The U.S. Commitment to the Global Health Security Agenda

Today during the G-20 Leaders’ Summit in Antalya, Turkey, President Obama announced that the United States and 30 countries, listed below, have made a commitment to work together to achieve the targets of the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA).  Working closely with these partners and countries around the world, we will strive to achieve a world safe and secure from infectious disease threats by building measurable, sustainable capacity to prevent, detect and rapidly respond to infectious disease threats, whether naturally occurring, accidental or deliberately spread.  We call on all countries to make additional commitments to save lives by preventing future outbreaks from becoming epidemics.

Beginning with the release of the National Strategy for Countering Biological Threats in 2009, and outlined in his 2011 speech at the United Nations General Assembly, President Obama has called upon all countries to come together to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats.  On February 13, 2014, together with partners from around the world, we launched the GHSA with the vision of achieving a world safe and secure from infectious disease threats through building our collective capacity to prevent and control outbreaks whenever and wherever they occur.

GHSA accelerates action and spurs progress toward implementation of the World Health Organization’s International Health Regulations and other global health security frameworks, such as the World Organization for Animal Health’s Performance of Veterinary Services Pathway.  The non-governmental sector also has an important role to play in the implementation of GHSA, including academic and research institutes, think tanks, industry, philanthropy and the private sector.

U.S. Commitment

When the GHSA was launched, the United States made a commitment to partner with least 30 countries over five years to achieve the GHSA targets.  In July 2015, the U.S. Government announced its intent to invest more than $1 billion in resources to expand the GHSA to prevent, detect, and respond to future infectious disease outbreaks in 17 countries.  Today, we are announcing an additional 13 countries, with which the United States will partner to achieve the targets of the GHSA.  These common, measurable targets have now been recognized by over 40 countries and achievement of these targets will expand our ability to:

  • Prevent or mitigate the impact of naturally-occurring outbreaks and intentional or accidental releases of dangerous pathogens;
  • Rapidly detect and transparently report outbreaks when they occur; and
  • Rapidly respond and control outbreaks before they become epidemics.

The 30 partner countries of the United States are: Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Laos, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Pakistan, Peru, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, Ukraine, and Vietnam.  In addition, we plan to partner with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to strengthen regional capacity.

In each of these countries, the United States is working with host governments and other partners to establish a five-year country roadmap to achieve and sustain each of the targets of the GHSA.  These roadmaps are intended to enable a better understanding across sectors and assistance providers of the specific milestones, next steps, and gaps toward achieving capacity needed to prevent, detect, and respond to biological threats.

During the 2015 G-7 Summit in Germany, G-7 leaders matched this approach with an historic commitment to collectively assist at least 60 countries, including the countries of West Africa, over the next five years.  In October, 2015, the G-7 Health Ministers agreed to announce these countries by the end of 2015. 

The 29 member G7 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction also contributes to achieving the GHSA targets by bringing together the health and security sectors to establish global capacity, particularly in the areas of biosecurity, biosafety, biosurveillance, laboratory strengthening, and emergency response.

Preventing Future Outbreaks from Becoming Epidemics:  Since its launch in 2014, the GHSA has brought together partners and sectors from over 40 countries and 9 international organizations around the world to enhance global capacities to prevent, detect, and rapidly respond to infectious disease threats through achieving measurable targets.  The GHSA Steering Group includes 10 countries, chaired in 2015 by Finland, in 2016 by Indonesia, and in 2017 by the Republic of Korea.  The GHSA Steering Group currently includes: Canada, Chile, Finland, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Korea, and the United States. 

The GHSA invests in needed capacity – infrastructure, equipment, and skilled personnel across sectors – and enhances coordination and commitment for  countries, international organizations and civil society to work together to achieve the following specific targets: Countering antimicrobial resistance; preventing the emergence and spread of zoonotic disease; advancing a whole-of-government national biosafety and biosecurity system in every country; improving immunization; establishing a national laboratory system; strengthening real-time biosurveillance; advancing timely and accurate disease reporting; establishing a trained global health security workforce; establishing emergency operations centers; linking public health, law and multi-sectoral rapid response; and enhancing medical countermeasures and personnel deployment.

As the Ebola outbreak in West Africa reached epidemic levels in September 2014, the White House hosted a high level meeting with 44 countries to announce over 100 commitments to strengthen capabilities under the GHSA.  In 2015, the Republic of Korea hosted the second high level event to bring together GHSA participating countries and organizations to highlight new commitments and progress. In 2016, the Netherlands will host the third GHSA high level event to highlight progress and continue to build momentum.

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