Stewart M. Patrick

The Internationalist

Patrick assesses the future of world order, state sovereignty, and multilateral cooperation.

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Showing posts for "Global Health"

Will the Director General Election Bring About the Change the World Health Organization is Looking for?

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
A combination of pictures shows the three candidates for Director General of the World Health Organisation Sania Nishtar, David Nabarro and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, during their news conferences at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, January 26, 2017. (Pierre Albouy/Reuters)

The following is a guest post by my colleague Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations.

For those who have been used to the noise and excitement in U.S. presidential elections, the campaign for the director general (DG) of the World Health Organization (WHO) is not just overshadowed by media reports on Trump, Syria, and nuclear proliferation—it itself seems to be unglamorous and uninformative. As observed by a recent New York Times article, the candidates’ positions are similar on most issues, from the WHO’s budget to emergency response.  Indeed, they also behave similarly—they not only avoid publically criticizing one another, but also seek not to give people the impression that they are critical of any member states, existing programs, or nonstate actors. Read more »

Silent Suffering: Mental Health as a Global Health Priority

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
A man embraces Argi, a trained therapeutic greyhound used to treat patients with mental health issues and learning difficulties, as he relaxes at Benito Menni health facility in Elizondo, northern Spain, February 13, 2017. (Susana Vera/Reuters)

Coauthored with Ryan Fedasiuk, intern in the International Institutions and Global Governance program at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Today is World Health Day. Originally created to mark the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO), the day has since become an opportunity to spread awareness of a subject of major importance to global health each year. For 2017, the WHO campaign focuses on depression, the leading cause of disability worldwide. As the WHO spotlights depression and issues surrounding the illness, it is important to consider just how far the international community has to go in combating this debilitating mental disease. Read more »

Trump 2018 Budget Proposal: What We Know (And Don’t Know)

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
Source: FiveThirtyEight (https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/what-trumps-budget-says-about-his-priorities/?ex_cid=538twitter)

The following is a guest post by Laurie Garrett, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations. The following information is compiled by Laurie and her research associate Gabriella Meltzer. Read more »

Who Have Been the Best WHO Director-Generals?

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan speaks (R) during a news conference in Seoul, South Korea. (Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters)

The following is a guest post by my colleague Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, and his research associate Gabriella Meltzer. Read more »

Who is the Likely Forerunner in the WHO Director-General Election?

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
World Health Organisation Director-General Margaret Chan attends the 69th World Health Assembly at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. (Denis Balibouse/Reuters)

The following is a guest post by my colleague Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, and his research associate Gabriella Meltzer. Read more »

Podcast: The Next WHO DG: What Skills and Experiences are we Looking For?

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan delivers her speech to the 69th World Health Assembly at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, May 23, 2016. (Denis Balibouse/Reuters)

The following is a guest post by my colleague Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations.

The Ebola epidemic undermined the confidence that states and the international community had in the World Health Organization (WHO) and its ability to fully implement its own International Health Regulations.  Restoring respect for the underfunded and overstretched WHO will prove a massive challenge for the new Director-General (DG), who will succeed Margaret Chan when her term ends on July 1, 2017.  This third podcast assesses the current WHO leadership’s efforts to reform the organization while tackling other global health challenges.  It will also outline the skills, experience, and leadership a DG will need to steer the agency in a direction that can make it a true guardian of global health. Read more »

Podcast: An Assessment of Former WHO Director-Generals and Previous Rounds of Director-General Elections

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
A delegate walks past portraits of former WHO Director-Generals Lee Jong-wook of South Korea (2003-2006), Gro Harlem Brundtland of Norway (1998-2003) and Hiroshi Nakajima of Japan (1988-1998) (L-R) before the opening of the World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board meeting on November 6, 2006. (Denis Balibouse /Reuters)

The following is a guest post by my colleague Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Since 1948, seven individuals have served as the WHO director-general. Each was elected through a process that involved alliance formation and deal striking, and after election, each achieved varying degrees of success in terms of reforming the organization and fulfilling its mandate. If we agree that the DG’s leadership capabilities impact the performance of the WHO as an organization, and that what happened at an earlier point in time will affect the possible outcomes of a sequence of events occurring at a later point in time, it will be interesting to see what implications past experiences have for the upcoming DG election and the future of global health governance. Read more »

Podcast: The Next Director-General of the World Health Organization

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan leaves the podium after her speech at the sixty-ninth World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, on May 23, 2016. World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan leaves the podium after her speech at the sixty-ninth World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, on May 23, 2016 (Denis Balibouse/Reuters).

The following is a guest post by my colleague Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations.

The term of the current director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) ends around July 1, 2017. The leadership transition comes at a pivotal moment for global health and the WHO itself, given criticism over the agency’s handling of the West African Ebola epidemic, its years-long “reform” process, dwindling finances, and the growing threat of Zika virus. This election also marks a departure for the WHO: amid calls for a more democratic election process, the WHO executive board will narrow the field to three candidates, to be voted upon through secret ballots by the May 2017 World Health Assembly, the organization’s decision-making body consisting of all 194 member states. Read more »

This Is Your UN on Drugs: From Prohibition to Flexibility in Counternarcotics Policy

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick and Stewart M. Patrick
A Mexican Federal Judicial policeman carries uprooted marijuana plants towards a bonfire as smoke fills a clandestine plantation some four miles east of Santa Cruz de Alaya, in Sinaloa state. (Reuters photographer/Reuters)

Coauthored with Theresa Lou, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program at the Council on Foreign Relations.

World leaders gather at the United Nations this week (April 19-21) for the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the world drug problem. This is the first such event since 1998, when member states committed themselves to policies aimed at eliminating illegal drugs by 2008. Trillions of taxpayer dollars and many destroyed lives later, that goal remains elusive—and illusory. This year’s UNGASS offers an overdue opportunity to rethink the war on drugs, and to appreciate how much attitudes have changed over the last eighteen years. Simply put, the longstanding global consensus behind prohibition is fracturing. Though there is little appetite to overhaul the three main international treaties—the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1971 Expanded Convention, and the 1988 Convention against Drug Trafficking—a growing number of governments are calling for greater national flexibility in interpreting and enforcing these international obligations. Read more »

A New Approach to Global Health Governance

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan delivers a speech during a summit on health and sanitary security in Lyon, France, on March 23, 2016. World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan delivers a speech during a summit on health and sanitary security in Lyon, France, on March 23, 2016 (Francois Mori/Reuters).

The following is a guest post by my colleague Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Over the past fifteen years, global health has become increasingly politicized. Development commitments through the Millennium Development Goals, foreign policy interests, and global health security concerns have been primary drivers of global health governance. The security approach has been successful in mobilizing Western governments and leaders—such as the Group of Seven (G7)—to address public health emergencies of international concern. Now this cohort of leaders is seeking to expand efforts to address other global health challenges, such as inequity and universal health coverage. This new political environment requires a novel approach to global health governance. On the one hand, classic development aid is shrinking, and on the other, the global health policy space is expanding rapidly. What’s more, rising powers have discovered that public health aid can serve as a vital element in efforts to build alliances and charm new friends. This occurs at a time when the growing refugee and humanitarian crisis requires new financing models. Read more »