The Global Health Security Initiative (GHSI) is an informal network of countries and organizations that came together shortly after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to exchange information and coordinate practices within the health sector for confronting new threats and risks to global health. Delegations of the GHSI include Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Commission. The World Health Organization (WHO) serves as an observer.
The GHSI has contributed significantly to improving global health security. Through coordination with the WHO and other institutions, it has improved prevention and preparedness capacities worldwide through stronger coordinated surveillance, detection, and response efforts.
The nature of health security continues to evolve in a number of important ways, giving rise to new challenges. These emerging challenges illustrate the need for governments to remain vigilant in their preparedness and response, and to strengthen efforts for international cooperation. Governments have placed increasing emphasis on preparedness and response strategies that build on an “all hazards” approach. This approach promotes the use of common platforms to address a variety of diverse health threats and risks.
Since its inception in 2001, the value of the GHSI partnership has been demonstrated through timely information exchange and effective networks, resulting in strengthened capacity and decision-making related to CBRN threats and risks. As health security continues to evolve, the GHSI’s preparedness and response activities will remain adaptable to changing threats and to the changing health security landscape.