Asia-Pacific leaders forge new alliance against malaria

Leaders from the ASEAN, Pacific, United States and Russia, among others, convened in Cambodia for the seventh East Asia Summit, where a new alliance against malaria was forged. Photo by: Yingluck Shinawatra / CC BY-NC-SA

An alliance to advance the fight against malaria and its drug-resistant strains was formed at the recently concluded East Asia Summit.

Building on the previous agreement between Asia-Pacific leaders at the Malaria 2012 conference in Sydney, Australia, the alliance will promote regional political leadership and collaboration in the fight against the preventable disease and identify key research and development priorities.

Speaking at the event, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard committed $1 million Australian dollars ($1.04 million) to help set up task forces that can find ways to close funding gaps and boost access to malaria medicines. This amount is on top of the country’s previously announced AU$100 million support for malaria eradication efforts in the region.

Aside from the alliance, major takeaways from the summit include:

  • The unveiling of the U.S.-Asia Pacific Comprehensive Partnership for a Sustainable Energy Future.

  • Endorsement of the Proliferation Security Initiative, which aims to stop trafficking ofweapons of mass destruction, its delivery systems and related materials.

  • Pledges of support for the Rapid Disaster Response agreement.

  • The creation of the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum to serve as a medium to address issues on marine environment, resource management and piracy.

Held in Cambodia, the summit was an avenue for leaders from the ASEAN, Pacific, United States and Russia, among others, to discuss pressing issues in the region. These include health and diseases, humanitarian assistance, disaster risk and relief, nonproliferation, energy, and maritime security.

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    Adrienne Valdez

    Adrienne Valdez is a staff writer for Devex, covering breaking international development news for the Development Newswire. Before joining Devex, Adrienne worked as a news correspondent for a public-sector modernization publication.