World

COVID-19 Research and Innovation - Powering the world’s pandemic response – now and in the future, February 2022

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R&D achievements summary

At the request of its 194 Member States in May 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) convened a broad network of experts to develop an R&D Blueprint for Action to Prevent Epidemics. A global strategy and preparedness plan was developed to allow for the rapid activation of research before and during epidemics.

Its aim is to fast-track the availability of effective tests, vaccines, medicines and social science that can be used to save lives and avert large- scale crisis, enhancing traditional epidemiology and public health responses with knowledge and skills from a number of areas.

WHO has defined as a priority to harness the power of science, research innovation, data and digital technologies as critical enablers of the other priorities – for health promotion and disease prevention, for early diagnosis and case management, and for the prevention, early detection, and rapid response to epidemics and pandemics.

The UN Research Roadmap for the COVID-19 Recovery provides a framework for leveraging the power of science in support of a better socio-economic recovery and a more equitable, resilient and sustainable future.

Furthermore, the World Health Assembly agreed on December 2021 to launch negotiations for an agreement to fight pandemics. The 194 Member States of the World Health Organization reached a consensus to kickstart the process to draft and negotiate a convention, agreement or other international instrument under the Constitution of the World Health Organization to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.