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News | June 28, 2024

DTRA Supports Global Health Security Conference, Sydney Australia

By Andrea Chaney Defense Threat Reduction Agency

Members of The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) attended the Global Health Security Conference (GHSC) from June 18th - June 21st, 2024 in Sydney, Australia to discuss with other international organizations on how to collectively address biosafety, biosecurity and biosurveillance measures to create a safer world for everyone. Members attended panel discussions and breakouts with global partners while Dr. Ada Bacetty, the department chief for the DTRA Cooperative Threat Reduction Biological Threat Reduction Program (BTRP) spoke on two main panels and moderated a breakout session.
Deidre Williams, BTRP senior advisor, also moderated a several panels such as financing global health security. Williams commented on the positive impact of the conference, stating “Conferences like this are really important because it allows us to bring together professionals with various expertise and from different sectors across government, non-profits, NGO’s,  and international organizations to come together to try to attack similar problems by working together as a global community to prevent the next pandemic and to make sure that we’re prepared to address the next biological threat we may face.”
During the conference, attendees were able to discuss lessons-learned and how they could share resources with each other to prevent global biological outbreaks. The attendees had the opportunity to build on collaborative, cooperative, and transparent partnerships. One of the DTRA’s strongest partnerships is with Dr. Lucas de Toca, Australia’s Ambassador for Global Health. “There’s a lot of personal trust, a lot of institutional trust, and there’s a strong alignment in what our objectives are. So, working together is just natural.” Said Dr. De Toca on his partnership with DTRA.
While the conference was hugely informative for all partners, there is still more work to do. Being vigilant against emerging biological threats and how they are approached will always be at the forefront. It’s clear that after this event, these global partners are aligned in their goals and have strong partnerships to tackle any biothreat challenge together. Ms. Williams reflected on the end of the conference saying, “Being able to have a conference like this that brings so many delegates together with different perspectives and expertise into one place to share how we each address health security issues and forge closer working relationships on this topic has been amazing.”
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