On April 25, 2018, the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense invited PGS President, Mr. Ken Luongo, to provide his comments and recommendations on "Transnational Biological Threats and Global Security."
In his remarks, Mr. Luongo indicated that infectious diseases and pandemics are the most immediate danger we continue to face from biological threats. Unfortunately, these are not treated as a global security issue nor effectively addressed due to the increasing urbanization of the global population and ability of infectious diseases to become widespread in a short period of time; the need for better disease modeling; and, the decline of anti-viral and antibiotic R&D.
Advances in biotechnology, nanotechnology and related disciplines also pose a significant dilemma, promising benefits for human health while potentially being misused for hostile purposes. Much of this field in democratic countries is managed by the private sector, or by the government in authoritarian nations. But, in both areas, there is little transparency, raising questions about how government manages the technology.
Mr. Luongo further said that as long as biosecurity regulation and oversight remain national and globally uneven, the world will face greater bio-vulnerability.
But the challenges in this area are similar to those in other areas with the disconnection between governments and the private sector stakeholders; the inability to coordinate effectively by breaking through silos rather than building them higher; and the cross-cutting nature that affects the economy, security, health, and human well-being.
Mr. Luongo's recommended we work through the challenges in each area while also finding a model that can be applied across all of the transnational security areas.
Read his full remarks here.