Remarks by Ambassador Blake at Global Health Security Agenda Press Conference, Jakarta

On behalf of the United States Government, I would like first to thank Minister of Health Dr. Mboi, Minister of Agriculture Suswono and the Government of Indonesia for hosting this important GHSA Conference and for its leadership in global efforts to advance health partnerships to prevent, detect and respond to a range of infectious disease threats.

I am pleased to be joined by a large interagency team from Washington, including representatives from the National Security Council, USAID, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Departments of Health and Human Services, State and Defense.

In today’s globally interconnected world, no one nation can achieve health security on its own.  Recent events such as the current Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and infectious diseases such as MERS coronavirus in the Middle East, underscore the importance of international efforts to improve public health systems through a coordinated surveillance and effective response.

The Government of Indonesia is providing critical leadership for the Global Health Security Agenda.  By convening nations to build and coordinate global commitment to using multi-sectoral approaches to manage emerging zoonotic diseases and other infectious disease threats.

Countries, like those that have joined here in Jakarta, are participating in a collective, international effort over at least the next five years to accelerate progress to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats in direct support of the IHR and other relevant global health security frameworks.

These countries are making good progress to share data,  preparedness planning, epidemiological and laboratory surveillance, risk assessment, and response to infectious diseases and other health threats, existing or arising at the human-animal interface.  But more needs to be done.

The U.S. government is committed to work with our partners around the world over the next five years to improve health security through capacity building and health systems strengthening such as emergency operations centers, increased training of public health workforce, higher levels of laboratory security, and greater links between disease surveillance networks.

We recognize and appreciate the leadership from all the countries that are here in Jakarta this week.  The United States looks forward to hosting the next GHSA event in Washington at the White House on September 26.  This will mark another important opportunity to engage with our partners as we work toward a world safe and secure from infectious disease threats.