Stewart M. Patrick

The Internationalist

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

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Showing posts for "International Health"

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 Stewart M. Patrick and Guest Blogger for 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) 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 »

From Ebola to Zika: Why the World Needs WHO Reform

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
Children watch a municipal worker spray insecticide in Recife, Brazil, on January 26, 2016. Children watch a municipal worker spray insecticide in Recife, Brazil, on January 26, 2016 (Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters).

The following is a guest post by Daniel Chardell, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program at the Council on Foreign Relations.

As the Zika virus spreads like wildfire across the Americas, the World Health Organization (WHO), still reeling from the Ebola crisis, has once again come under scrutiny for its management of an infectious disease outbreak. Until last year, Zika, a mosquito-borne pathogen thought to cause microcephaly and incomplete brain development, was unknown in the Western Hemisphere. But microcephaly surged in Brazil in 2015, with evidence suggesting that Zika, a virus originally found in Uganda, is the cause. Read more »

Delivering on Global Health and Development: A View from the Gates Foundation

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
Peng Liyuan, wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping, speaks with Melinda Gates, as she walks toward a lab for a tour at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, on September 23, 2015. Peng Liyuan, wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping, speaks with Melinda Gates, as she walks toward a lab for a tour at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, on September 23, 2015 (Ellen M. Banner/Reuters).

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

As one of the single biggest funders in global health, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has not only helped renew the dynamism and attractiveness of global health, but also played an important part in improving health conditions in developing countries. What role do policy and advocacy play in shaping the global health and development agenda, particularly as it relates to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? What are the implications for development and governance following the adoption of the health-related SDGs? Finally, what role is the foundation playing in pandemic preparedness following the Ebola crisis? Read more »

The Future of the WHO: Lessons Learned and Priorities for Institutional Reform

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and WHO Director-General Margaret Chan attend a meeting at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, during the height of the Ebola crisis on October 1, 2014. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and WHO Director-General Margaret Chan attend a meeting at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, during the height of the Ebola crisis on October 1, 2014 (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.

The unprecedented Ebola outbreak in West Africa underscored the institutional deficiencies of the World Health Organization (WHO). As the world grapples with how to reform the architecture of global health governance, WHO reform remains a point of contention. Why was the WHO unable to respond to the Ebola crisis more rapidly and effectively? Of the reforms proposed by the WHO’s independent review panel and other critics, which are most compelling and realistic? Given the scope of rising global health challenges, how should the WHO prioritize and balance among competing priorities? Read more »

Civil-Military Cooperation in International Health Crises

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
U.S. soldiers practice the proper way to remove protective gloves at Ft. Carson in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on October 23, 2014, prior to their deployment to Africa as part of the U.S. military response to the Ebola crisis. U.S. soldiers practice the proper way to remove protective gloves at Ft. Carson in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on October 23, 2014, prior to their deployment to Africa as part of the U.S. military response to the Ebola crisis (Rick Wilking/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 demonstrated not only the human devastation wrought by lethal infectious disease, but also the broad coalition of actors needed to combat the outbreak. In Liberia, the U.S. military provided logistical and medical support that was integral to stemming the Ebola epidemic. How did armed forces interact and cooperate with civil society and government workers on the ground? What lessons can we learn from civil-military relations during the Ebola outbreak to guide us in future international health crises? Read more »

From MDGs to SDGs: Lessons Learned and Future Directions for Implementing UHC

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
A six-year-old migrant from the Congo receives a medical check-up from a doctor at a refugee camp in Munich, Germany, on October 6, 2015. A six-year-old migrant from the Congo receives a medical check-up from a doctor at a refugee camp in Munich, Germany, on October 6, 2015 (Michaela Rehle/Reuters).

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

This year, the United Nations released a new set of development goals called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to replace the previous set of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). One of the goals includes a target that aims to provide universal health coverage across the globe—a much more ambitious and far-reaching goal than the more targeted health-related MDGs. Read more »

Global Health and the WHO: Revival or Marginalization?

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan gestures during her address to the sixty-seventh World Health Assembly at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on May 19, 2014. World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan gestures during her address to the sixty-seventh World Health Assembly at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on May 19, 2014 (Denis Balibouse/Reuters).

The following is a guest post by my colleague Miles Kahler, senior fellow for global governance at the Council on Foreign Relations and distinguished professor at American University’s School of International Service. Read more »

The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Impact on Global Health

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
An aerial banner reading "Doctors to Obama: Keep #TPP Away from Our Medicines!" flies above New York in January 2015. The banner was sponsored by the international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières, or Doctors Without Borders, which has argued that the Trans-Pacific Partnership could restrict access to affordable generic medicines in developing countries. An aerial banner reading "Doctors to Obama: Keep #TPP Away from Our Medicines!" flies above New York in January 2015. The demonstration was sponsored by the international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières, or Doctors Without Borders, which has argued that the Trans-Pacific Partnership could restrict access to affordable generic medicines in developing countries (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters).

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