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.

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Human Rights and WHO Election

Human Rights and WHO ElectionHuman Rights and the Election of the Next WHO Director-General: Public Accountability Now

By Eric Friedman

I believe that human rights, and the right to health in particular, should be a top priority of and guiding principle for the next WHO Director-General, whom the world’s health ministers will choose at the World Health Assembly in May. Human rights, after all, encompass the values needed to achieve health for all and health justice, such as equity, non-discrimination, universality, participation, and accountability. They are legally binding precepts. Above all, they embrace human dignity, and the utmost respect for all people in health systems and health-related decisions. They embody the notion of people-centered health services.

This importance demands electing to the post a credible and strong leader on human rights, someone with a history of fighting injustice, of opposing human rights violations, of standing up for the marginalized and oppressed, of resisting political, corporate, or other interests that stand in the way of human rights. This centrality of human rights means electing an individual willing to stand against forces and policies that tolerate or even perpetuate discrimination, or that let political or other concerns override the rights of women, minorities, immigrants, political opponents, or anyone else. It entails appointing a person who views organizations fighting for human rights as partners, even when their own governments may oppose them.

Three candidates remain in the race to be the next WHO Director-General: Tedros Adhanom, David Nabarro, and Sania Nishtar. All candidates should be accountable for their past support of human rights, and outline their plans for furthering human rights around the world if chosen to lead WHO. While it is important for all candidates to do this, one candidate in particular ought to provide a detailed public account of where he stands, and has stood, on human rights. Having spent more than a decade as a cabinet minister in a government that has committed large-scale human rights abuses, Dr. Tedros must make clear his position and intention.

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