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In order to mitigate human and financial losses as a result of future global pandemics we must plan now. As the Ebola virus pandemic declines we must reflect on how we have mismanaged this recent international crisis and how we can better prepare for the next global pandemic. Of great concern, is the increasing frequency of pandemics occurring over the last few decades. Clearly, the window of opportunity to act is closing. This editorial discusses many issues including: priority emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases; the challenges of meeting international health regulations; the strengthening of global health systems; global pandemic funding; and the One Health approach to future pandemic planning. We recommend that the global health community unites to urgently address these issues in order to avoid the next humanitarian crisis.