Panel discussion on climate change and the right to health
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
delivered by Amanda Jessen
31st Session of the Human Rights Council
March 3, 2016
The United States believes that access to healthcare is important, particularly in the face of public health emergencies. We work to promote access to healthcare and emergency preparedness through our foreign assistance programs. The United States is deeply concerned about the spread of insect-borne diseases, including the Zika virus. President Obama has emphasized the need to accelerate research efforts to identify better diagnostic tests and vector control approaches and to develop vaccines and therapeutics. He has requested Congress for more than $1.8 billion in emergency funding for domestic and international Zika prevention and response. Our priority is to reduce the risk to pregnant women of Zika virus infection. We must all work together to aggressively prevent, detect, and respond to the Zika virus and bolster our ability to reduce the potential for future infectious disease outbreaks.
All countries need to be prepared and work to have emergency management systems in place to detect and respond to national, regional or global threats. We wish to ask the panel: How are other countries preparing for insect-borne diseases?