27 April 2015

Connecting the Dots – Ebola, Tobacco & UHC

What do the Ebola crisis in West Africa, the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and Universal Health Coverage have in common? Answer: the law. It may not be the first connection you make, but the law is a major determinant of health and a powerful tool affecting global health and safety. Indeed, these three examples will be used by the new Lancet – O’Neill Institute, Georgetown University Commission on Global Health and the Law to demonstrate how “the interaction between national, subnational, and international law, together with the influence of many legal spheres, illustrate the power—and the weakness—of law as a tool.”

Gian Luca Burci, Legal Counsel to the World Health Organization, Adjunct Professor of International Law at the Graduate Institute, and Senior Fellow at the Global Health Programme is among an impressive group of commissioners and co-chairs leading the project, representing a diverse range of disciplines and backgrounds. Over the next eighteen months, the commissioners will work to “define and systematically describe the current landscape of law that affects global health and safety” and “make the case for the power of law to improve health while revealing current opportunities and challenges under the status quo.

The full Comment “Law’s Power to Safeguard Global Health: The Lancet – O’Neill Institute, Georgetown University Commission on Global Health and the Law,” in the Lancet introduces the project, with more information and ongoing updates available on the Commission website.