World Must Recognize Effectiveness Of Global Fund’s Multilateralism, Gates Foundation Official Writes In Opinion Piece
Project Syndicate: The most important story you missed in 2019
Mark Suzman, chief strategy officer and president of Global Policy and Advocacy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
“…Each of us probably overlooks tens of thousands of important news stories every year. But the biggest one that people missed in 2019 happened on October 10 in a conference hall in Lyon, France, where a gathering of government officials, business leaders, and philanthropists pledged $14 billion to an organization called the Global Fund. … The replenishment is vitally important news, first and foremost because of the sheer number of lives it will help to save. … But what happened on October 10 in Lyon is critical for another reason: it illustrates how we are at a pivotal point in history, from which the world might move in one direction or another. On one hand, the successful recent fundraising effort was a testament to the way the world went about solving humanitarian crises in the early years of this century. Multilateralism, it turns out, worked — and worked extremely well. … On the other hand, the fact that no similar multilateral organization has been established since the early 2000s — at least not on such a scale — should give us pause. … I often wonder what would have happened had the AIDS crisis emerged 20 years later than it did. Would we be able to create the Global Fund today? The answer, I think, is no. It would be very difficult to build support for that kind of initiative in this environment. Last month’s news from Lyon, then, is part of an ongoing story. Will the world realize that multilateral coalitions work and reverse course? Or is the era of multilateralism at an end?…” (11/22).