The first Global Health Security Conference on 18 – 20 June 2019 in Sydney aims to bring together practitioners, researchers, educators, representatives and decision-makers across the fields of public health, medicine, veterinary science, agriculture, government, defence, international relations, sociology and anthropology to examine the progress made to date in strengthening health systems, and identify the gaps and opportunities for responding more efficiently and effectively to future adverse health crises.

In addition to a variety of sessions addressing different areas of health security throughout the Conference, there will be a number of sponsored sessions and side events. The AHSC will continue facilitating multisectoral thematic dialogues and will address R&D for health security in the event Alliance for Health Security Cooperation Public Event Research and Development for Health Security: Achievements and Challenges.

Evolving existing products and discovering new technologies are vital to preventing, detecting, and responding to both existing and emerging infectious disease threats, whether naturally occurring or created through deliberate or accidental human action. Achieving health security preparedness in all countries depends on the availability of a range of technologies including vaccines, treatments, clinical diagnostics, personal protective equipment, vector control products and other health technologies.

While there has been significant progress in the prioritization of research and development for global health security technologies, there is an outstanding need for increased investment in, and accelerated development of, these technologies. This requires financial and technical support for basic research, translational research and product development through to registration, often in the absence of any significant market potential. In addition, the economic cost of infectious disease outbreaks continues to increase.

The objectives of the public event are to identify challenges involved in the development, registration, manufacturing and distribution of drugs for epidemic-prone diseases, with a special focus on Disease X, and paint a broad-brush picture of the nature and progress of the diverse institutions and partnerships that have been established to deal with these challenges.

The panel discussion will bring together the CEOs Dr Nick Hamon, IVCC, Dr Catharina Boehme, FIND, Dr David Reddy, Medicines for Malaria Venture, Dr Melvin Spigelman, TB Alliance, Dr Richard Hatchett, CEPI, and Dr Nick Chapman, Policy Cures Research, and will be moderated by Dr Jane Halton, Chair of the Board of CEPI.

The panel discussion will be followed by a meeting of the AHSC, with a focus on discussing the recent and upcoming work in support of capacity building for health security preparedness, response and recovery.

In addition to the AHSC event, on 19 June the governments of Australia and Finland will organize a breakfast event on the Front Lines: the role of women in response and recovery to public health crises. It will discuss the role and examples of women in health security from different perspectives, focusing on the gender aspects and experiences of women in front line response.