International Day of Epidemic Preparedness on December 27 serves the purpose of creating awareness about epidemics. This day encourages every individual, every institution, and every government to prepare its citizens in an appropriate manner and in accordance with national contexts and priorities, through education and awareness-raising activities, in order to highlight the importance of the prevention of, preparedness for, and partnership against epidemics.
In its 75th session and 36th plenary meeting on December 7, 2020, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) passed a resolution which declared December 27 as the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness. The decision is part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The declaration recognised the “devastating impacts of major infectious diseases and epidemics,” especially of the current COVID-19 pandemic, on people’s lives and the long-term damage to social and economic development. The UN General Assembly also noted how the present pandemic had overwhelmed the medical faculty and health systems globally, disrupted supply chains and disproportionately affected the livelihoods of people in poorer countries.
The United Nations system, in particular the World Health Organization, plays a pivotal role in coordinating responses to epidemics, in accordance with its mandate, and in supporting national, regional and international efforts to prevent, mitigate and address the impacts of infectious diseases and epidemics in accordance with the goal of advancing the 2030 Agenda.