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Fourth Annual Global Biosecurity Dialogue Identifies Steps to Improve Biosecurity in 2022 and Beyond

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NTI | bio convened more than 90 high-level biosecurity experts and professionals from governments, private sector, civil society, and global and regional organizations for the 4th Global Biosecurity Dialogue (GBD). This three-day virtual meeting hosted from January 10-12 focused on future needs, commitments, and actions required to accelerate global biosecurity and biosafety implementation worldwide in the wake of COVID-19 and to prevent future pandemics with potentially catastrophic impacts.

The GBD is an annual series of multi-sector and multi-stakeholder discussions designed to sustain attention on and accelerate action toward advancing international biosecurity hosted by NTI | bio. This unique forum brings together diverse stakeholders, fosters champions, and advocates from across the world, and catalyzes action through innovative thinking on global biosecurity efforts. Since its inception in 2018, the GBD has increased awareness of the importance of biosecurity among sectors, attracting attention to and funding for strategic biosecurity efforts worldwide.

During the January meeting, participants explored the role of biosecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic, enhancing understanding about how effective preparedness that incorporates biosafety and biosecurity practices bolsters global systems against future accidental and deliberate biological threats. GBD participants committed to a series of steps to advance biosecurity in 2022 and beyond:

  • Identify indicators to track progress toward securing adequate financing for sustainable national biosafety and biosecurity systems
  • Develop biosafety and biosecurity outcome measures that can be used to build accountability and urge future action, including non-punitive incident-reporting schemes.
  • Contribute to regional biosecurity and biosafety data platforms that encourage transparency and information sharing among countries, track collective efforts and steps taken in individual countries, and hold leaders accountable for action with an initial focus on the African region.
  • Develop, refine, and utilize Action Guides that outline steps champions can take to drive progress at the national, regional, and global levels, starting with a focus on building political and financial support for biosafety and biosecurity.
  • Build awareness of and diversify partnerships related to an open-innovation competition to generate solutions to improve laboratory sustainability.
  • Collaborate with regional networks to document and share methods to optimize regional biosecurity models to promote the development and implementation of such models worldwide.
  • Incorporate the private and philanthropic sectors in the development and implementation of solutions that mitigate emerging biological risks while growing the bioeconomy.

NTI | bio will collaborate with GBD participants and partners throughout 2022, including through working groups designed to drive progress on the commitments made at the 4th annual GBD. The next GBD will be held in late 2022.

The Global Biosecurity Dialogue is an integral part of the global biosafety and biosecurity system, providing a forum for robust collaboration where global, regional, and national partners can come together to find tangible ways to advance biosecurity capacity, policy, and action worldwide. It is complementary to efforts such as the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction and the Global Health Security Agenda. This meeting series was made possible by generous support from Global Affairs Canada’s Weapons Threat Reduction Program and the Open Philanthropy.

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