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Human Rights and Equity: The Value Base of Global Health Diplomacy

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Global Health Diplomacy

Abstract

This chapter reviews the values base and ethical arguments for global health diplomacy (GHD) and how these are codified within human rights treaty obligations that are binding on nations that ratified them. It begins by questioning if nations only engage in global health for their own security or economic interests. It then discusses the concept of values and the bipolar model of political values (freedom and equality). With reference to the Millennium Declaration’s consensus on global values, the chapter next identifies and explains GHD’s core value as promoting greater global health equity. This is supported by statements in several recent policies and commentaries on global health as a foreign policy concern. Global health equity requires reasonable access for all to resources for health, which leads into a review of key social justice theories and ethical arguments for systems of global redistribution. These arguments, and the values that underpin them, are implicit in international human rights, notably the right to health. Two main covenants, or treaties, define the major human rights that are legally binding on ratifying nations, many of which are important to health by way of improving social determinants of health. The chapter identifies a short-list of key human rights provisions that could, and should, guide global health diplomacy; and provides a checklist of questions useful for this purpose.

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Labonté, R. (2013). Human Rights and Equity: The Value Base of Global Health Diplomacy. In: Kickbusch, I., Lister, G., Told, M., Drager, N. (eds) Global Health Diplomacy. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5401-4_7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5401-4_7

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