The Lancet: Global collaboration for health: rhetoric versus reality

14 September, 2020

Extracts from an editorial below. Read online: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31900-0

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The 75th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) opens on Sept 15, 2020. Being held remotely for the first time, the meeting will inevitably be dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic, but other issues on the agenda that have resonance for global health include the climate crisis, peace, disarmament, and humanitarian assistance. Underpinning this year's agenda is the UN theme of multilateralism, under the banner ”The future we want, the United Nations we need: reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism”. Yet... countries are now undermining global cooperation through rising nationalism, open hostility towards multilateral institutions, and a growing tendency to look after their own interests...

COVID-19 has brought into clear view that every person's health is interconnected, and the UNGA is a platform with the power to reorientate global interests in such a way as to protect the health and lives of all people in every nation. The need for global cooperation has never been more visible or more crucial...

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Best wishes, Neil

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages in collaboration with WHO. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org