Pandemics and animal welfare

Taking One Health seriously: What are the concrete steps to build an effective pandemic instrument?   

Roundtable discussion: September 19th, 2022 at 15:00 (CEST), Domaine de Penthes, Geneva, Switzerland


The Australian Permanent Mission is pleased to welcome ambassadors and interested members of permanent missions in Geneva to a civil-society-led roundtable discussion on ‘Taking One Health seriously: What are the concrete steps to build an effective pandemic instrument?’ on Monday, 19th September from 15:00 to 18:00 at the Domaine de Penthes, Geneva, Switzerland. The event is organised by FOUR PAWS, the global animal welfare organisation that aims for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding.

The roundtable discussion is intended to provide representatives of Permanent Missions and other stakeholders with high-level expert insights on One Health and pandemic prevention, and an opportunity to share knowledge and exchange on key questions. A special focus will be given to the earliest stages of pandemic prevention, which address the drivers of infectious diseases and spillover events where pathogens jump from animals to humans. We hope the discussion will be a positive contribution to the development of the conceptual zero draft of the convention, agreement or other international instruments on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.

We are proud to bring together experts and member states in a roundtable discussion on September 19th, 2022, from 15:00 to 18:00 (CEST).

Location: Domaine de Penthes, Chemin de l'Impératrice 18, CH - 1292 Pregny-Chambésy, Geneva, Switzerland

The 1.5-hour roundtable discussion will be followed by an informal reception allowing for continued exchange with the panelists.

Meet the experts

Lawrence Gostin

Lawrence Gostin

Wanda Markotter

Wanda Markotter

Gian Luca Burci

Gian Luca Burci

Natalia Cediel Becerra

Natalia Cediel Becerra

Karanvir Kukreja

Karanvir Kukreja

The list of experts 

includes (please find their names and functions herewith):

Lawrence Gostin, Professor | Founding O'Neill Chair in Global Health Law | Faculty Director, O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law | Director, World Health Organization Collaborating Center on National & Global Health Law

Prof. Lawrence O. Gostin is University Professor and Founding O’Neill Chair in Global Health Law. He directs the World Health Organization Center on National and Global Health Law. He served on high-level advisory committees for the World Health Organization, including WHO, smallpox, pandemic influenza, and genomic sequencing data. He is working with WHO on the global COVID-19 response, including impacts on the health workforce and international migration. He served on the WHO/Global Fund Blue Ribbon Expert Panel on Equitable Access in Global Health and co-chaired the Lancet Commission on Global Health Law. Gostin served on two global commissions on the West Africa Ebola epidemic, and was senior advisor to the UN Secretary General. Prof. Gostin also served on the drafting team for the G-7 Summit in Tokyo on global health security. He currently serves as a member of the Independent Panel for a Global Public Health Convention. He also serves on the Panel for the Global Health Security Index. Prof. Gostin is Global Health editor, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). He’s a Member of the National Academy of Medicine and sits on its Global Health Board. He also serves on the National Academies’ Committee on the Analysis to Enhance the Effectiveness of the Federal Quarantine Station Network based on Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic. President Obama appointed Prof. Gostin to the President’s National Cancer Advisory Board. Prof. Gostin holds the National Academy of Medicine’s Adam Yarmolinsky Medal for distinguished service of science and health. The American Public Health Law Association awarded Gostin its Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award. Prof. Gostin’s latest book, Global Health Security: A Blueprint for the Future (Harvard Press, 2021) won the prestigious Association of American Publishers PROSE Award for the best book on Professional and Scholarly Excellence in Biological and Life Sciences. In the United Kingdom, the National Consumer Council bestowed Prof Gostin with the Rosemary Delbridge Memorial Award for the person “who has most influenced Parliament and government to act for the welfare of society.” He is elected to the Royal Society of Public Health and to the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal College of Physicians.

Wanda Markotter, Director, Centre for Viral Zoonoses, Department of Medical Virology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa | Co-chair, One Health High-Level Expert Panel

Prof. Wanda Markotter holds a PhD in Virology and started her academic career at University of Pretoria, South Africa in 2004. She is currently the Director of the Centre for Viral Zoonoses, Department of Medical Virology, Faculty of Health Sciences. Since January 2016, she is occupying a DSI-NRF South African Research Chair in "Infectious Diseases of Animals (Zoonoses)“ and in 2021 she was also appointed as a Research Chair in People, Health and Places at the Future Africa Institute to promote transdisciplinary research. She is also the co-chair of the One Health High Level Expert panel (OHHLEP) advising the WHO, OIE (WOHC), FAO and UNEP. She is a virologist who has been involved in an interdisciplinary research programme on disease ecology in bat species in South Africa and other African countries since 2005. Research includes extensive fieldwork focusing on bats and potential spillover hosts, virological testing, bat biology and taxonomy, ecological investigations and human behaviour studies. The focus is not only to detect viruses but also to understand spillover factors and develop mitigation strategies. Her research is supported by several multi-collaborative international viral surveillance programmes, including the Global Disease Detection Programme, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and Defence and Threat Reduction Agency, USA. She is also leading transdisciplinary initiatives focused on One Health and plays a leading role in several international and national committees. More than 50 post-graduate students have graduated under her supervision.

Gian Luca Burci, Adjunct Professor of International Law | Academic Adviser, Global Health Centre | Director, Joint LLM in Global Health Law and Governance, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva

Prof. Gian Luca Burci has been an Adjunct Professor of international law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva since 2012. He is also Academic Adviser to the Global Health Centre of the Graduate. Before this appointment, he served in the Legal Office of the World Health Organization from 1998 to 2016 and was its Legal Counsel from 2005 to 2016. Prof. Burci holds a post graduate degree in law from the University of Genova, Italy. He is the co-author of the leading English book on WHO, editor of the first research collection on global health law, co-editor of the first research handbook on global health law and author of numerous articles and book chapters on a variety of topics including the law of international organizations, UN peace and security functions, international immunities, as well as global health law.

Natalia Cediel Becerra, Lecturer and researcher, Universidad de la Salle Bogotá, Colombia | member, One Health High-Level Expert Panel

Prof. Natalia Cediel Becerra has sixteen years of experience as a public health and epidemiology professor and researcher, working in multi-disciplinary health teams and intercultural workplaces on public health. Her current academic work is focused on gender-based One Health, the implementation of a One Health approach in Colombia and Latin America.  At present, she is a professor and researcher at La Salle University, Colombia. She has several publications on gender equity, health and social inequalities of Colombian rural populations and the 2030 Agenda on sustainable development. Natalia’s expertise derives, in part, from her years of experience as a public health and infectious disease epidemiology professor and researcher with national and international Universities and organisations. She is currently a member of the One Health High Expert Level Panel (OHHLEP), member of the Latin American, Ibero and the Caribe Leaders Network (OHLAIC), and leading member of the Cyted Network in One Health and Climate Change.

Karanvir Kukreja, Head of Public Campaigns Southeast Asia, FOUR PAWS

Hailing from Thailand, Dr. Karan Kukreja graduated from the University of Sydney in 2008 as a qualified veterinarian and worked four years in veterinary general, emergency and specialist practice in Australia. In Asia he has worked as a vet to fight transboundary animal diseases in Southeast Asia and China. Following this Karan worked for World Animal Protection on the delivery of a campaign to end the bear bile industry in Asia. Karan joined FOUR PAWS, working with a team to deliver an international campaign to end the brutal dog and cat meat trade in Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia, and now works on advocacy and public mobilisation as Head of Campaigns Southeast Asia to improve the lives of companion animals as well as to work with a FOUR PAWS team working to change the way we address animals as part of preventing the next pandemic.

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