Sign-On: Letter to Dr. Tedros

Tedros towards FCGHThere is a new Director General at the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. During the recent WHO election process, Dr. Tedros had often mentioned that helping the poor and marginalised is his primary concern, and that adequate health care for all is essential.

There is also a new NGO in formation, the FCGH Alliance, dedicated to advancing the development of an international treaty based on the right to health, the Framework Convention on Global Health (FCGH).

Below is a letter to Dr. Tedros requesting his support to advance this proposed global treaty, which would make it legally-binding on governments to assure that everyone’s right to health is realised, sooner rather than later. If you agree with the letter, please add your name and/or civil society organization to the list of signatures by clicking here. Help us to inform Dr. Tedros that a broad  group of people from civil society want real (legally-binding) change – not just nice sound-bites about those already left out and behind.
Thanks in advance.

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Dear Director-General Tedros,

Congratulations on your appointment to be the next WHO Director-General. As you assume the sacred global trust as head of the World Health Organization, no doubt you feel the mighty responsibility of your office, with its tremendous potential for bringing better health to the world’s people – and above all, to the poor, marginalized, left behind, discriminated against – people to whom you have long voiced great commitment. We were heartened to hear you state so powerfully upon your appointment that WHO must “put the right to health at the core of its functions, and be the global vanguard to champion them.”

One powerful tool to do just that is a proposed Framework Convention on Global Health (FCGH), which would be a global treaty based on the right to health and aimed at national and global health equity. It could help put the right to health not only at the core of WHO’s functions, but also at the core of the global policy agenda. We call upon you to use your legal and moral authority to initiate a WHO process towards this treaty, with its transformative promise.

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Chance to Engage with France?

Chance to learn from FranceThere was an excellent series of articles, France: nation and world, published in The Lancet last year. The series looks at different aspects of the realization of the right to health for its citizens, and the role of France in the realm of global health. As the two founders of the IMAXI Cooperative, neither French by birth, are only alive today due to the excellence of the public health services of France, this Lancet series of papers rang a bell very close to home.

However, over the last 15 years we have witnessed the lack of participation of our comrades from Francophone communities in various global health governance bodies, including UN agencies and programmes. We have also rarely heard from the French government about how its excellent model of public health could be applied to other countries outside its ‘sphere of influence’ in its ex-colonies. Although IMAXI is a French registered NGO, our attempts to connect with the French delegates to discuss its role in global health have not been fruitful.

With the recent election of President Macron, and the anticipated success of his En Marche movement to win a majority in the French parliament next weekend, there is now a possibility that health activists can better engage with the new government in innovative and effective ways to advance our shared values, including realizing the right to health for everyone, everywhere.

Over the next few weeks, we will be re-posting some of the articles from the series in The Lancet. We hope they serve to both inform and to inspire others to join with us in a new ‘working’ group to explore ways in which we can turn this new political reality in France into more health justice for everyone. Contact us for more information.

We begin with the introduction to the series that provides both background and hope.
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France: a philosophy for health
by Richard Horton and Audrey Ceschia

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