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Briefing Room

Joint Statement on Future Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response


Joint Statement on Future Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response


We, the leaders of the Republic of Korea, Japan and the People’s Republic of China, convened in Seoul, Republic of Korea, on May 27, 2024, on the occasion of the Ninth Trilateral Summit, and decided as follows:


Reaffirming our commitment to prevention of, preparedness for and response to future pandemics through the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), International Health Regulations (IHR) and General Programme of Work (GPW) of the World Health Organization (WHO);


Recalling that WHA resolution 74.7 (2021) on the global strategy and action plan for infectious disease prevention and control highlights the importance of national roles in leading efforts to address infectious disease outbreaks;


Acknowledging the achievements made with collaboration and exchanges for a collective response to infectious disease outbreaks, and the commitment to the Joint Action Plan on Preparedness and Response against Infectious Diseases with Pandemic or High Consequence Potential of Common Concern, which was based on the original Joint Action Plan adopted in 2008 and revised in 2016, and adopted at the Fourteenth Tripartite Health Ministers’ Meeting in December 2021;


Acknowledging the efforts for establishing an international cooperation system to respond to the global pandemic through the special ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Summit on COVID-19, the ROK-Japan-China Foreign Ministers' special video conference on COVID-19, and the Special Video Conference of the Tripartite Health Ministers' Meeting on COVID-19 Response held in 2020;


Acknowledging the benefits arising from sharing national policies, strategies, experiences, best practices and lessons through the platform established by the three countries with a view to promoting the effective prevention of, preparedness for and response to future pandemics;


Noting the need for an effective response to the adverse impacts of new health emergencies on economic and social development such as the outbreak of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, as COVID-19 remains a persistent threat including the possibility of the emergence of a new variant of concern, despite the official announcement of the end of the COVID-19 PHEIC (Public Health Emergency of International Concern) in May 2023;


Emphasizing that the Republic of Korea, Japan and the People’s Republic of China need to actively address future pandemics and public health emergencies through the implementation of relevant national strategies and activities to enhance international cooperation;


1. We will prioritize future pandemic prevention, preparedness and response as part of our national strategies with the commitment that achieving universal health coverage (UHC) is essential in our efforts to strengthen the global health architecture, and encourage and support related government policies and action plans — such as on mid- and long-term national economic development, public health, healthcare service delivery system and healthcare reform — to incorporate future pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.


2. We reaffirm the importance of equitable access to essential healthcare resources with a view to enhancing global health security, and we will improve equity in access to medical countermeasures (MCM) against infectious diseases including vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics based on public health risks and needs. In this regard, we will also acknowledge the importance of end-to-end approach to MCM from priority settings, R&D, regulatory approval and manufacturing to last-mile deliveries and global collaboration, and endeavor to strengthen health workforce capabilities to reduce the capacity gap in infectious disease response among and within countries. Also, we will join global efforts through international organizations and related funding, thereby contributing to making the world safer from infectious diseases.


3. We emphasize the need to clarify the goals and responsibilities of each sector when implementing measures related to pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, and stress the importance of enhancing multi-sectoral approach in dealing with infectious disease outbreaks.


4. We note that the One-Health approach, an integrated and unified approach that aims to balance and optimize the health of people, animals and ecosystems, is an important concept in preventing, preparing for and responding to future pandemics and public health emergencies, such as emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases caused by pathogens including the emergence of a new SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern, as well as antimicrobial resistance. We encourage active multisectoral participation, through the One-Health approach to enhance national, regional and global health security.


5. We will pursue strategic cooperation in the area of health security to promote peace and prosperity in the region. To this end, we will work together to strengthen regional health security through bilateral and multilateral initiatives and partnerships with international organizations of which the three countries are members; encourage relevant joint research, policy dialogue and sharing of experiences; and seek to build long-term cooperation mechanisms, including by strengthening cooperation among the national public health institutes for disease control in the three countries, such as through the Korea-Japan-China Communicable Disease Control and Prevention Forum and Joint Symposium. We will also work together to build a successful model to collectively tackle health emergencies, and foster international and regional cooperation through various activities including the sharing of best practices.