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COMMENTARY
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 61  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 134-136

The rise of global health diplomacy: An interdisciplinary concept linking health and international relations


Lecturer- Public Health, Faculty of Medical Sciences & Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Institute of International Relations, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago

Correspondence Address:
Vijay Kumar Chattu
Faculty of Medical Sciences, Institute of International Relations, The University of the West Indies
Trinidad and Tobago
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijph.IJPH_67_16

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Global health diplomacy (GHD) is relatively a very new field that has yet to be clearly defined and developed though there are various definitions given by different experts from foreign policy, global health, diplomacy, international relations, governance, and law. With the intensification of globalization and increasing gaps between countries, new and reemerging health threats such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, influenza, severe acute respiratory syndrome, Ebola, and Zika and a gradual rethinking on security concepts framed a new political context. The health problems addressed diplomatically have also become diverse ranging from neglected tropical diseases, infectious diseases, sale of unsafe, counterfeit drugs to brain drain crisis. We see that global health has become more diverse as the actors widened and also the interests appealing not only to the traditional humanitarian ideals associated with health but also to the principles grounded in national and global security. Recently, we are witnessing the increased priority given to the GHD because the issue of health is discussed by various actors outside the WHO to shape the global policy for health determinants. In fact, the area of health has become the part of UN Summit Diplomacy involving the G8, G20, BRICS, and the EU. The recent WHO Pandemic Influenza Framework, UN High Level Framework on Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases, and the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control are some of the examples of long-term negotiation processes for agreements that took place.


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