The Need for a FCGH

Arty25_203-1This article is one of the earliest to discuss the idea for a Framework Convention on Global Health (FCGH). The proposal for the development of an international, legally-binding treaty has advanced considerably in the last five years, but the points raised here, including that the FCGH needs to be driven from the bottom-up, are still essential.

A Global Framework Convention on Health – Would it Help Developing Countries to Fulfill their Duties on the Right to Health? A South African Perspective
by Mark Heywood and John Shija of Section 27

It is arguable that the delivery of global health has reached an impasse. This is evident not only in unresolved debates that are raging about where to allocate health aid or how to sustain and expand funding for AIDS treatment, but also in challenges facing national health systems that are incapable of purely domestic resolution. But there is some irony and much opportunity in this situation. Not only have the last 20 years seen an unprecedented growth in funding for health, mainly through funding for AIDS, but there have also been a range of initiatives and ideas that have generated better knowledge not only of the determinants of health, but also of how to attain it. Scientists, public health experts and activists have created a store of intellectual knowledge, technology and ideas which, if properly and fairly deployed, might provide the opportunity to re-launch tangible progress towards the progressive realization of the right to health on a global scale.

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All For FCGH For All

sad_to_happy_mask_203_px“A sure way to turn cries of sorrow into smiles of hope” – Eric A. Friedman

It has been three months since a few of us at the IMAXI Cooperative began to look closely at a proposal which, on the surface, sounded great. As activists, we are always a bit skeptical of big ideas to help folks in the community that come from the high and mighty at the top. So we have studied all the available documentation to see for ourselves if this one might really make a difference in the lives of people desperately in need of their rights. After reviewing dozens of documents, we think it might.

The Framework Convention on Global Health (FCGH) is a proposed international treaty that would be based on the right to health. The FCGH would establish legally binding standards, with mechanisms to address a wide range of issues from universal access to health care to inequalities, gender, food, housing, sanitation, and all the other social determinants of health. It would be adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, and then ratified by governments around the world. This treaty would codify, and make enforceable, our right to health, which is just too vague and ‘fuzzy’ to actually be made into reality in the communities where it’s needed. The Framework Convention on Global Health would be “designed to meet the needs of the world’s least healthy people and close unconscionable health gaps between the global rich and poor”, according to its initiators.

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