Monday, June 13, 2011

[EQ] Global health diplomacy: how foreign policy can influence health

Global health diplomacy: how foreign policy can influence health

Ilona Kickbusch, director Global Health Programme, Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva, Switzerland
BMJ 2011; 342:d3154 doi: 10.1136/bmj.d3154 (Published 10 June 2011)

Available online at:

 “…..There are four ways in which foreign policy and health can interact. Foreign policy can endanger health when diplomacy breaks down or when trade considerations trump health; health can be used as an instrument of foreign policy in order to achieve other goals; health can be an integral part of foreign policy; and foreign policy can be used to promote health goals. These approaches cannot always be sharply differentiated and are better visualised as a continuum.

Health is an integral part of the global agenda
Health is on the radar of foreign policy because it has become integral to three global agendas:

Security—driven by the fear of global pandemics or the intentional spread of pathogens and an increase in humanitarian conflicts, natural disasters, and emergencies

Economic—concerned not only with the economic effect of poor health on development or of pandemic outbreaks on the global market place but also the gain from the growing global market in health goods and services

Social justice—reinforcing health as a social value and human right, supporting the United Nations millennium development goals, advocating for access to medicines and primary health care, and calling for high income countries to invest in a broad range of global health initiatives. ….”


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