Buen día! Thank you, Facundo and Alejandro, for inviting me to give opening remarks at this year’s Health Forum.
I missed the 2022 Forum but my deputy, Abby Dressel, participated last year told me about how impressed she was with the event. So this year I said I could not miss it.
Over the last few years, we learned the hard way how important strong healthcare systems, including a strong private sector, are to all of us. We also learned that global challenges require us to come together as partners and collaborate on solutions.
We are able to be here today in person with almost 300 people in the same room due to the efforts of all actors in the healthcare sector: government, companies, researchers, service providers, and professionals, cooperating to save lives during the COVID pandemic.
Looking forward, our countries must focus on building stronger supply chains, better access to care, research and innovation to keep our societies healthier, safe from disease, and more productive.
The United States has a long history of cooperation with our Argentine counterparts in the health sector. This year, in particular, has been a keystone year with many positive developments.
First, I’m delighted to share with you that we opened a U.S. Centers for Disease Control office at the Embassy recently. Dr Rachel Smith, who is here today, Rachel please raise your hand, leads our office.
Dr. Smith and her team work hand in hand with the Ministry of Health on areas such as antimicrobial resistance, health care quality, and surveillance and detection of critical healthcare threats, among other issues. And we look forward to this continued partnership.
With the CDC staff on the ground in Argentina, we’ve increased our cooperation to detect and respond to new and emerging antibiotic resistant health threats. We do that through the Global Action in Healthcare Network (GAIHN), a CDC-run, global network of hospitals and laboratories Argentina was the first country in the world to participate in this network.
As the preeminent reference lab in the region, the Malbran Institute is a critical CDC partner, leading the GAIHN initiative as well as other flagship regional and national collaborations with CDC in foodborne illness, high-consequence pathogens, and influenza.
Earlier this year, senior U.S. Health and Human Services officials traveled to Argentina to join the Ministry of Health and Pan American Health Organization’s Vaccination in the Americas Week events and to discuss how the U.S. government can support PAHO’s work in Argentina.
And next month, representatives from the United States will participate in the 5th Global Mental Health Summit hosted by Argentina and Minister Vizzotti here in Buenos Aires.
Argentina and the United States are also active members of the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), a group of more than 70 countries, international organizations and non-government organizations, and private sector companies that have come together to achieve the vision of a world safe and secure from global health threats posed by infectious diseases. The GHSA leverages the strengths and resources of multi-sectoral and multilateral partners to address priorities and gaps in efforts to build and improve country capacity and leadership in the prevention and early detection of, and effective response to, infectious disease threats.
Under President Biden’s leadership, the United States has made global health policy a priority. Just last month, Secretary of State Blinken launched the State Department’s newest bureau, the Bureau of Global Health Security and Diplomacy. This new bureau will lead our efforts to strengthen global health security.
In addition to the government-to-government cooperation, the U.S. private sector innovation stand out for scientific and technological advances, including clinical research for vaccines, treatments, and development of new medical products and inputs.
I am proud that we have many U.S. companies engaged in the Argentine healthcare sector with products, services, and technologies contributing to a safer world, increasing investment, and fostering a culture of innovation.
Investment and innovation require an appropriate business climate to flourish, with key ingredients such as rule of law, protection of intellectual property rights, access to capital, and transparency and predictability.
Public and private investment in research and development grow our economies, generate new jobs, and advance our societies.
Working together we can develop solutions to emerging healthcare challenges.
We’re celebrating 200 years of friendship and partnership between our countries this year, and it is an opportunity to reinforce and celebrate our interconnectedness. In particular, I thank all of you in the private sector for all you do to continue to build the relationship between the United States and Argentina.
I would like to close by thanking all of you and highlighting that the U.S. government is committed to a long-term, win-win relationship with Argentina and its people.
And as always, the U.S. Embassy and the United States stand ready to continue working with all of you to create a healthy future for our nations.
Enjoy the Forum. Muchas gracias!