First Virtual Global Biosecurity Dialogue Yields Important Pledges to Strengthen Biosecurity

More than 170 government officials, health and biosecurity experts and professionals, civil society leaders, and representatives from global and regional organizations from nearly 40 countries gathered virtually in February for the third Global Biosecurity Dialogue. Participants pledged to take 12 specific actions to advance global biosecurity along eight jointly developed priority areas under the following themes: biosecurity capability development, emerging biological risks, and biosecurity policy frameworks. Information on these actions can be found here.

The willingness this impressive cohort to contribute to the Dialogue amid the ongoing demands of the COVID-19 pandemic response highlights the urgent need to prevent intentional or accidental releases of dangerous biological agents such as SARS-CoV-2, especially during a health crisis.

NTI plans to reconvene the Global Biosecurity Dialogue in Autumn 2021 and will work with partners to make progress on committed actions in the interim. This virtual Dialogue built on progress made during previous convenings in 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in partnership with the African Union and Africa CDC, and the inaugural Global Biosecurity Dialogue held in London in 2018.

The Global Biosecurity Dialogue complements existing international efforts to prevent, detect, and respond to biological threats, including the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction and the Global Health Security Agenda. The Dialogue also serves as a leadership model for identifying new actions and promoting change within other elements of health security.

The project is made possible by generous support from Global Affairs Canada’s Weapons Threat Reduction Program and the Open Philanthropy Project.

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