During the week of Oct. 29-Nov. 2, NIH was home for the 8th annual
ministerial meeting of the Global
Health Security Initiative (GHSI). The group includes the health ministers
of eight allied nations, the European
Union and the World Health Organization. The meeting concluded
Nov. 2 with a press conference in Natcher auditorium.
That day, ministers first breakfasted
at Stone House with HHS Secretary
Mike Leavitt and DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff. At the press event, Leavitt moderated the questions. He also touted the gathering as an essential cooperative effort among allies: “It shows the importance of renewing our commitment...and continuing
to provide a very important forum for preparedness.”
The GHSI, established in October 2001, is an international partnership to strengthen public health emergency
preparedness and response. This year’s meeting reviewed biological,
chemical, radio-nuclear terrorism, pandemic influenza and other public health emergencies, as well as food and product safety.
Participants included health ministers
from Canada, France, Germany,
Italy, and the United Kingdom; the secretaries of health from Japan, Mexico and the United States; as well as the health commissioner of the EU and the director-general of WHO.
This was the first time the ministerial
meeting was held in the U.S. and hosted by the HHS secretary. Past meetings have been held in Tokyo, Rome, Paris, Berlin, Mexico City, London and Ottawa. The final ministerial
statement is available at www.ghsi.ca/english/