Civil Society—More vital than ever

Our world is buffeted by tectonic political shifts and huge uncertainty—ranging from a potentially unravelling Europe, a Trump presidency, and populist/fundamentalist crusades under various guises. It is a politics born from grotesque and unprecedented levels of inequality that deprive people of dignity and capabilities.

Post-World-War-Two institutions that have underpinned a period of relative global stability patently need reform—particularly if they are to regain and inspire much needed public confidence and trust. We need strong institutions to promote and protect the principles and values enshrined in the United Nations Charter—among them faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, and better standards of life in larger freedom.

I am convinced that more than ever we need progressive civic organizations and associations to educate and remind leaders, states and the public of those principles and values, to provide the political incentives that encourage them to govern according to those principles and to hold leaders to account where they fail to do so. It is in this context that our Comment in Globalization and Health argues that we need to appreciate, support and resource civil society to ensure that the ambitious health targets in Agenda 2030 are realized for all.

@kentbuse,*  UNAIDS

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On The Road to WHO4ALL 2017

WHO4ALL_Democrat_280pxThe World Health Organization (WHO) and its annual Assembly (WHA) determine the policies that affect the health and well being of billions of people in communities around the world. However, only the delegates from Member States (governments) have a say in these decisions. As the mantra of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is “Leave no one behind”, we think that the WHO must be reminded of “Nothing about us without us” – that the participation of the community in the design and implementation of all health policies is essential for achieving the global goals of the 2030 Agenda. It’s also our human right.

Our response to the exclusion of marginalised people and communities in the decision-making process of the UN’s World Health Organization, is WHO4ALL. It’s a participatory tool towards making the WHO more inclusive, democratic and open, while building bridges across many sectors of civil society engaged in advancing the different elements of the Right to Health. Specifically, WHO4ALL is a series of online events that connect WHO policy-making meetings with the public to provide both a bottom-up amplifier of community voices and a small step towards a future of accountability up at the top. It’s not the ’meaningful participation’ that we demand, but it’s a loud knock on the doors of the Ivory Tower.

Following on from WHO4ALL at the recent World Health Assembly in May, and with the encouragement of many of the ‘moderators’ that help the event including Rob Yates, ITPC, Kent Buse, Sarah Hawkes, Mat Southwell, Teresia Njoki & the Athena Network, Shamiso Zinzombe, Claire Morris, Jim Cleary, Eric Friedman, Benjamin Meier Justin Mendoza and others, we are now preparing the next WHO4ALL events beginning in October 2016.  Come meet-up and speak-up — join us on the road to the WHO’s Executive Board meeting and the WHA 2017.

#WHO4ALL — Open to all.
Join @WHO4ALL on twitter