Welcoming Remarks for DCM Sandra Clark – GHSA Roadmap Discussions

Welcome to (Insert senior GoS representatives) and all of you who have taken time out of your busy schedules to attend this important meeting.  It marks a critical point in the development of a road map for health investment in West Africa.

I am pleased that U.S. government, through USAID, the Department of State, the Centers for Disease Control and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency is hosting this meeting for the Global Health Security Agenda, or GHSA, in Senegal.

The meeting underscores the commitment of the United States  to make the world a more safe and secure place through improved response to emerging disease threats.

In his 2011 speech at the United Nations General Assembly, President Obama called upon all countries to come together to prevent, detect, and fight biological threats before they become epidemics.

Senegal has a special role to play in working with the U.S. government to advance the Agenda. The GHSA offers Senegal new possibilities to strengthen health systems and to prevent and reduce the likelihood of future outbreaks.

In the past year, we have witnessed the success of Senegal in protecting the country from the threat of Ebola. The U.S. government is proud to have been a partner in those efforts.

As a result, the longstanding relationship between the U.S. and Senegal has strengthened and evolved.

Rapid response to disease threats requires multi-sectorial, international collaboration.

That is why we are here today. Together, we can coordinate our actions to prevent epidemics, detect biological threats and create a GHSA roadmap for Senegal for the next five years.

We have made progress toward a comprehensive, global system to respond to biological threats.  However, there is still much work to do to achieve the objectives outlined in the Global Health Security Agenda.

As Secretary of State John Kerry has stated, building long-term healthcare capacity in West Africa is a strategic security priority.

A global health crisis is an attack on human infrastructure, creating instability and stealing progress from everybody.

I trust today’s discussions will reinforce how GHSA resources can help Senegal strengthen areas such as integrated disease surveillance and laboratory capacity.

I thank you for participating in these discussions, and am certain that you will contribute to the GHSA roadmap and commit to putting your ideas into action.

Closing Remarks

It is an honor for me to present these closing remarks on behalf of the United States government and the American people.

This week, we have discussed how with a commitment toward making the world a safer and more secure place through global health security we can achieve progress through targeted investment and coordinated action.

For many years, the U.S. government has championed global health security and USAID is proud to be a partner with Centers for Disease Control and Defense Threat Reduction Agency in assisting African countries in achieving their goals.

Here in Senegal, the United States is proud to be a part of the discussions to formulate a five-year Senegal roadmap for the Global Health Security Agenda.

Over the past year, the U.S. government has strengthened its longstanding relationship with Senegal as a partner in successful efforts to stave off Ebola.

We look forward to continuing this strong relationship in tackling the challenge of strengthening health systems for improved global health security.

As U.S. Secretary of State Kerry said, “the health of others affects the health of all of us.”  This is why the global health security agenda and its action plans are so important, why the U.S. remains committed to this global partnership.

This call to action is about working together with countries like Senegal. No nation should have to tackle the challenge of global health security alone, we are here to support each other, learn from each other, and take action.

I congratulate you again and express my appreciation to the Government of Senegal for its strong leadership and commitment to global health security.  I applaud everyone here for your enormous dedication to improving health at the national and international level. Your experience and knowledge transcends borders.

I wish you all success in the year ahead and I look forward to hearing about your progress toward achieving the Global Health Security objectives.

Thank you.