Global Health Centre

Pathogen and benefit-sharing: Where next in the global governance of outbreaks?

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Online Event, 16:30 CET

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The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has exposed vulnerabilities in the global governance of outbreaks. In this event, we examine one of them—pathogen and benefit-sharing (PBS)—in more detail. Access to pathogen samples and the sharing of the benefits that arise from their use is a growing global health concern. Across recent outbreaks, including Ebola, Zika, MERS-CoV, and the newly emergent SARS-CoV-2, questions on how samples should be shared, for what purpose, and what amounts to fair and equitable benefit-sharing from their use have been central considerations. At the culmination of a 2-year research project, we will launch our research report on the politics and practices of how pathogens and related benefits are negotiated, both globally and in the specific cases of Liberia’s Ebola (2014-2016) and Brazil’s Zika (2015-2016) epidemics. This event will bring together experts to reflect on the adequacy of existing arrangements, the need for new governance approaches, and political opportunities in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.




  • Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist, World Health Organization
  • Mosoka Fallah, Lecturer, School of Public Health, University of Liberia College of Health Sciences; Founder and CEO, Refuge Place International
  • Gustavo Matta, Researcher, National School of Public Health; Coordinator of the Zika Social Science Network, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz)
  • Anthony Rizk, Doctoral Researcher, Global Health Centre; PhD Candidate in Anthropology and Sociology, Graduate Institute, Geneva
  • Eero Lahtinen, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Finland to the UN, Geneva
  • Igor Barbosa, First-Secretary, Permanent Mission of Brazil to the UN, Geneva
  • Suerie Moon, Co-Director, Global Health Centre
  • Gian Luca Burci, Adjunct Professor of International Law, Graduate Institute, Geneva


Event Materials


Understanding the Norms and Practices of Pathogen-Sharing