Assessing Proposals for New Global Health Treaties: An Analytic Framework
American Journal of Public Health, 105:8 (August 2015)
10 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2016 Last revised: 4 May 2016
Date Written: May 2016
As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, there is great pressure for new international treaties to address various health challenges. However, it is unclear how effective these types of treaties are in addressing global health challenges in fact they may be totally inappropriate in certain circumstances. We have presented an analytic framework and four criteria for assessing when global health treaties have reasonable prospects of yielding net positive effects. First, there should be a significant transnational dimension to the problem. Second, the goal and expected benefits should justify the coercive nature of treaties. Third, proposed international treaties should have a reasonable chance of achieving benefits. Fourth, treaties should be the best commitment mechanism among the many competing alternatives. When applying this framework to the current calls for global health treaties none fully met the four criteria. Efforts aiming to better use or revise existing international instruments may be more productive than advocating for new treaties.
Keywords: world, interconnected, globalization, health, international, security, treaty, treaties, transnational, dimension, framework, instruments
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