The Treaty We Need

WriteYourRights_FCGH_203pxA few weeks ago, while the high and mighty at the United Nations in New York were singing their own praise for their adoption of the sustainable development goals (SDGs), I was singing the blues. The lack of links with specific human rights such as the Right To Health, the absence of any means for accountability or for community participation, and the emptiness of references to inequality and corruption left me feeling down and disheartened. All I could do that day was to mournfully sing “I got the SDG blues”.

The following morning, I came across an article in a WHO Bulletin by Michel Sidibé and Kent Buse about a proposed global health treaty that would be based in the right to health and aimed at closing national and global health inequities — the Framework Convention on Global Health (FCGH). Since then I have been reading everything I could find on FCGH. As it seems to be an idea being developed by high-level academics and development experts, my initial view was through the skeptical squint that I get when looking upwards to the Ivory Towers. Yet the idea is attractive, and could allow for the participation of the community in the drafting of the treaty. I now think it might be an idea worth supporting. As a person with disabilities that has had to struggle for ‘health justice’, I can also see the FCGH as a potential tool for community activists if a number of other people with disabilities, and those living with HIV or other patients with chronic diseases would participate / activate in building a broad-based ‘bottom-up’ campaign. Also, if there’s interest, the IMAXI Cooperative’s Write Your Rights project could possibly include contributions to any FCGH drafting process.

To see what other folks think about this proposed Framework Convention on Global Health, I am posting below the first article that I read, by Michel Sidibé and Kent Buse of UNAIDS, followed by a few links to other good reads. This week I will begin tweeting about the #FCGH on @MsRightz to strike up some conversations about it. Let’s see if talking-up a treaty is more useful than singing the SDG blues.

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