Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has laid emphasis on sustained and significant funds injected for capacity-building of the health sector, especially in lower income countries.
He welcomed the formation of the financial intermediary fund at the World Bank to complement investments in prevention, preparedness and response (PPR).
Dr Momen stressed on devising a global health strategy that will prepare the world better for any future pandemic.
He underscored the need to create a playbook where the countries will be ready to respond immediately to future health threats.
Dr Momen was speaking at the opening session of the COVID-19 Global Action Plan (GAP) Ministerial held in New York on Friday, September 23.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares Bueno and Botswana Foreign Minister Dr. Lemogang Kwape jointly convened the Ministerial, aiming at bringing together partners to maintain and strengthen political will to address COVID-19 challenges.
The Foreign Ministers from several countries, including from Japan, Saudi Arabia and Thailand, and the Director General of WHO participated in the meeting. High level delegates from a number of countries, including France, Indonesia, Germany, UK, India, Norway, Italy, and South Korea also joined.
Dr Momen highlighted that under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh was a standout success in COVID-19 response.
He said that Bangladesh was open to sharing its COVID-19 management experience, which had been centered around saving lives, supporting livelihoods — especially of the most vulnerable, and posting quick economic recovery.
Stressing further on the global partnership and concerted efforts, Foreign Minister lauded the multilateral processes, including initiatives like ACT-A and COVAX under WHO that played an important role in making vaccines and other COVID materials available.
However, he reminded that the pandemic was not over yet, and vaccination needed to continue.
To this effect, the Foreign Minister reiterated that vaccines should be declared global public goods and distributed without discrimination.
A joint statement was issued at the end of the Ministerial with concrete recommendations and ways forward, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
It highlighted the state of the global response to COVID-19 in line with six core lines of efforts and the role of foreign ministries to enhance political will and coordination.
The joint statement underscored the importance of enhanced coordination among GAP partners to fill remaining gaps in the pandemic response, and build better health security to prevent, prepare for, and respond to future health threats.