The National Center for Disease Control and Public Health of Georgia (NCDC) express their deep grief about the loss of the U.S. Senator (Ret.) Richard G. Lugar, who served as a Mayor of Indianapolis from 1968 to 1975, a U.S. Senator from 1977 to 2013, and President of the Lugar Center since 2013, died peacefully at 87 on Sunday, April 28.
Characterized by various prominent figures as a “leading voice of foreign policy”, “holder of highest civilian awards”; “brilliance of mind, purity of motive, stainless in character, tireless in the pursuit of duty” Sen. Lugar’s efforts and contributions are obviously tremendous in the US and world politics. The Government of Georgia has also had a great experience and achievements in partnering Sen. Lugar.
Senator Lugar was a great supporter and a partner of Georgia. He was a co-author of Nunn-Lugar Initiative, established in the early 90’s (1991) by the United States Government (authored by Senators Richard Lugar and Sam Nunn) and headed the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program (CTR) providing funding for decommissioning weapons of mass destruction and running the Nonproliferation program for nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons covering some countries of Eastern Bloc and former Soviet countries, including Georgia.
In order to achieve the Program’s peaceful goals there was a need to develop unified systems on disease detection, surveillance and response in the country and incorporate them under the “One Health” concept.
The key component of the CTR program (2003-2017)in Georgia was establishment of human and animal laboratory surveillance network throughout the countryand a main pillar of this network - the Public Health Research Reference Laboratory, modernly equipped, BSL 3 and state-of-art research institution, with the Regional Hub functions known as the Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research named after the Senator – Richard G. Lugar.
The Lugar Center is a part of the national and regional security, as well as a guard of the population’s health. It responds to the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) objectives and is a cornerstone of public health, and scientific research potential for safety and security.
Sen. Lugar was aware of the NCDC / Lugar Center’s achievements and successful outcomes after its full operation since 2013 and in 2017 he officially congratulated the NCDC leadership and the country overall for these successes.
The NCDC is proud and highly appreciated for the contributions of the CTR program in the country. It is sure that the Lugar Center will always fulfill the expectations of the late Senator R. Lugar on its development way and remain a bridge between the peaceful and friendly relations of the United States and Georgia.
The leadership and personnel of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health of Georgia join in thoughts and prayers to the Senator’s family, friends and the natives during this hard time.
Rest in Peace, Senator Lugar!