Towards a Framework Convention on Global Health

Bulletin of the World Health Organization, Vol. 91, pp. 790-793, 2013

5 Pages Posted: 16 Oct 2013

See all articles by Lawrence O. Gostin

Lawrence O. Gostin

Georgetown University - Law Center - O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law

Eric Friedman

Georgetown University Law Center - O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law

Kent Buse

UNAIDS

Attiya Waris

School of Law, University of Nairobi

Mulumba Moses

Center for Health, Human Rights and Development; Uganda Chritian University

Mayowa Joel

Communication for Development Centre

Lola Dare

Centre for Health Sciences Training, Research and Development

Amaboo A. Dhai

University of the Witwatersrand - Faculty of Health Sciences

Devi Sridhar

University of Oxford

Date Written: October 2013

Abstract

A global health treaty, a Framework Convention on Global Health (FCGH) – grounded in the right to health, with the central goal of reducing immense domestic and global health inequities – could serve as a robust global governance instrument to underpin the United Nations post-2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It would ensure for all people the three essential conditions for a healthy life – public health, health care, and the positive social determinants of health – while advancing good governance, responding to drivers of health disadvantages for marginalized populations, elevating health in other legal regimes, and enhancing people's ability to claim their rights.

The legally binding nature of the FCGH would enhance accountability and compliance through rigorous monitoring and reporting, domestic human rights litigation, and international incentives. It would overcome the collective action problem of global health financing through a health financing framework with clear domestic and international obligations.

Stakeholders have made thoughtful critiques of the FCGH, such as the opportunity costs of advocacy, the time and expense of treaty negotiations, and reporting burdens. Nevertheless, these costs could be turned into opportunities through civil society participation in negotiations, by taking advantage of extensive reporting and monitoring requirements to expand accountability around and strengthen strategies to respond to health inequities, and through non-binding frameworks on the way towards the treaty.

The greatest challenge in achieving an FCGH is the political obstacles it will face. Social justice movements united behind an FCGH, to secure the treaty and to ensure its implementation, are vital to the success of an FCGH – and the right to health. With its aim of securing this right, the FCGH could unite disparate health-related movements, all of which should contribute to developing the treaty and taking ownership of its realization.

Keywords: global health, health inequities, health disparities, global health governance, global health priorities, international health responsibilities

JEL Classification: K30, K32, K39

Suggested Citation

Gostin, Lawrence O. and Friedman, Eric and Buse, Kent and Waris, Attiya and Moses, Mulumba and Joel, Mayowa and Dare, Lola and Dhai, Amaboo A. and Sridhar, Devi, Towards a Framework Convention on Global Health (October 2013). Bulletin of the World Health Organization, Vol. 91, pp. 790-793, 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2340474

Lawrence O. Gostin (Contact Author)

Georgetown University - Law Center - O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States
202-662-9038 (Phone)
202-662-9055 (Fax)

Eric Friedman

Georgetown University Law Center - O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

Kent Buse

UNAIDS ( email )

Geneva
Switzerland

Attiya Waris

School of Law, University of Nairobi ( email )

P O Box 30197
Nairobi, Nairobi 00100
Kenya

Mulumba Moses

Center for Health, Human Rights and Development ( email )

Plot 833, Old Kiira Road
Ssebowa Road, P.O. Box 16617
Kampala
Uganda

Uganda Chritian University ( email )

Mukono
Uganda

Mayowa Joel

Communication for Development Centre ( email )

700 Rayovac Dr. Suite 200
Madison, WI 53711
United States

Lola Dare

Centre for Health Sciences Training, Research and Development ( email )

29 Aare Avenue
New Bodija Estate
Ibadan, 21633
Nigeria

Amaboo A. Dhai

University of the Witwatersrand - Faculty of Health Sciences ( email )

7 York Rd
Parktown, Johannesburg 2193
South Africa

Devi Sridhar

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

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