Out of Darkness, Towards the Light

Darkness to lightThe long, dark year is over. Months of life-threatening illness combined with money problems to make my 2017 a year not to be repeated and best forgotten. It has been a challenge both personally and for the IMAXI Cooperative, which was also down and out for months at a time. The darkness obscured the route ahead, and our important research project on participation in global health institutions, All Aboard, had to be halted before it arrived at its final destination.

It was not the first year in which some of IMAXI activities had to be postponed or cancelled due to our members, all volunteers, falling either seriously ill, seriously skint or just blown off track. Yet 2017 will be the last. The Board of the IMAXI Cooperative has decided at its recent meeting to change its way of working so that a crisis affecting individual members does not derail all of our collective efforts. In short, we recognise that our all-volunteer approach to functioning must change, and that resources should be found so that project teams are supported both financially and materially. The failure of one individual’s health or finances must not bring the collective’s progress to a full stop again.

 This change requires that the Cooperative establish a revenue stream independent of the projects that we develop. We are presently studying three different ideas which could possibly deliver sufficient income to provide some support for our activities and the activists who work on them. This would be a major relief as IMAXI has tried to function only through our own donations since it was established in 2010. Since we are all poor, living with disabilities or diseases, this system may have been appropriate to ‘start-up’, but it is no longer workable. So we are down in the IMAXI Forge, designing some prototypes for our own use. In the next few weeks we will decide which of these would work best.

After a year often derailed in the darkness, we are now beginning to roll forward. We can not only see the light at the end of this long tunnel, but can almost breathe the fresh air that awaits us. From full stop to full speed ahead, soon.

The FCGH Alliance Activates

FCGH AllianceThe FCGH Alliance Activates

A Rights-Based Framework for the SDGs and Beyond: A Framework Convention on Global Health (FCGH)

A growing movement is galvanizing around a proposed Framework Convention on Global Health (FCGH) – a global treaty based in human rights and aimed at national and global health equality. Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued the following call to action in his report in advance of the June 2016 High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS: “I further encourage the international community to consider and recognize the value of a comprehensive framework convention on global health.” It is now time for the international community, from individual states to the Director-General of the World Health Organization – the organization mandated to lead the world on global health, and with the right to health as a core constitutional principle – to answer this call.

The FCGH Alliance
In 2017, organizations and individuals supporting the FCGH decided to establish the Framework Convention on Global Health (FCGH) Alliance, a Geneva-based NGO formed under the Swiss civil code, to advocate for and ensure inclusive participation in the process of developing the FCGH. With growing numbers of supporters, from people who have experienced debilitating health conditions to national and global civil society organizations and global health luminaries, with deepening engagement with WHO, and with growing potential for state support, it was time to move from a loose coalition to a legally recognized NGO.

The goal of the FCGH Alliance is to secure the FCGH. A key principle of the FCGH Alliance will be broad engagement. We will seek individuals and organizations around the world to join in its membership and partner in its efforts, with a special emphasis on ensure the participation of civil society and community-based organizations, and populations who suffer most from health inequities. The FCGH must, above all, be a treaty that speaks to their needs, meets their expectations, and secures their right to health.

Read moreThe FCGH Alliance Activates