International Health Emergencies in Failed and Failing States
40 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2014
Date Written: 2013
Global health emergencies, particularly those occurring in failed and failing States, can become threats to the stability of the international community. This Article assesses the international mechanisms available to respond to such emergencies. After defining global health emergencies, it discusses the implications of global outbreaks in failed and failing States. It then examines the role played by the World Health Organization in controlling global health emergencies, with particular reference to the newly amended 2005 International Health Regulations and the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network. Finally, it explores the role of other international organizations, including the United Nations Children’s Fund and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, in addressing global health emergencies in failed or failing States. While no comprehensive and mandatory action plan exists to deal with global health emergencies, the tools developed by the World Health Organization and other international organizations are proving to be effective in dealing with global health emergencies so far. The lack of enforcement measures seems to be compensated by cooperation and voluntary actions by Member States, and significant non-State actor involvement. The lingering question is how to ensure that actions are taken in a timely and comprehensive manner in all global health emergencies.
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