UNITE and AHF to Collaborate on Infectious Disease Elimination and Pandemic Preparedness

In Global Advocacy, Global Featured, News by Fiona Ip

UNITE Global Parliamentarians Network to End Infectious Diseases and AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding this week, outlining their joint work in 2022. With an international pandemic treaty among nations still no closer to completion, it is now more vital than ever that civil society advocacy organizations and governments alike work to fight infectious diseases and prepare to prevent and respond to future pandemics.

In the document signed on March 24 at the Portuguese National Parliament, UNITE and AHF commit to “engage actively and advocate for the elimination of infectious diseases as a global health threat, reinforcing pandemic preparedness, and promoting the negotiation of a new instrument for pandemic preparedness, prevention and response.”

In a joint statement, leaders from both organizations agree that they are “committed to strengthening the relationship to assure the exchange of evidence-based knowledge through information sharing on infectious diseases, global health, legislative processes, and policymaking,” said UNITE President Ricardo Baptista Leite, Member of Parliament in Portugal. “UNITE has the right tools to achieve the required political impact, and the parliamentarians of the network are committed to doing so.”

“To push for maximum political impact and change, we need parliamentarians on board, as they are the voice of the people,” added AHF President Michael Weinstein. “We are honored to partner with UNITE, working together toward the critically important goals of global pandemic preparedness and the control and elimination of infectious diseases.”

The collaboration between UNITE and AHF started at the very beginning of the network’s history in 2017. Since then, AHF has been a pillar in supporting UNITE’s work in its different areas of intervention. This year represents an opportunity to go even further due to the discussions on a new global health framework and the recently launched International Forum on Global Health—a working group led by UNITE and the Parliamentary Network of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

UNITE is a global network of parliamentarians committed to driving political change and impact to end infectious diseases as a global health threat until 2030. UNITE has more than 200 members in over 70 countries worldwide and organizes its activities in ten regions, called chapters, led by its Executive Board.

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