Global Health Diplomacy Provides Vehicle For Advancing International Relations, Global Health Goals Simultaneously

The Lancet Global Health: New roles for global health: diplomatic, security, and foreign policy responsiveness
Sebastian Kevany, international policy specialist at the University of California, San Francisco

“…With the ascendancy of the global health diplomacy paradigm, both bilateral and multilateral donors now have a powerful and unique opportunity to pursue and support noble humanitarian and international relations goals that are closely linked to the high ideals of global health. The development of diplomatic, political, and security, and foreign policy liaison offices — in the manner of the U.S. Office of Global Health Diplomacy — would help to ensure that criteria for positive diplomatic and foreign policy effects are advanced in tandem with world health. By elaborating and making explicit to donors the benign collateral effects of health programs, global health diplomacy approaches also present an important message to funders: that their investments, as well as pursuing altruistic ideals, also achieve even more ‘enlightened self-interest’ ends such as national security, international relations, conflict resolution, world peace, and the prevention or mitigation of armed conflict … At a time when arguments against the augmentation of hard power budgets have become increasingly compelling, if the same aims can be achieved through soft or smart power, we stand on the brink of an era in which global health will become firmly established in the high political pantheon” (February 2016).

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