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.