Rethinking Global Health

Political and practical challenges from foreign and security policy

10 Mar 2009 - 00:00 to 12 Mar 2009 - 00:00

Chatham House, London

Centre on Global Health Security

The conference 'Rethinking Global Health: Political and practical challenges from foreign and security policy' will explore global health policy as it intersects with the global political process.

This major international conference is organized in collaboration with the European Council on Global Health.

Global health needs global cooperation

Health has become emblematic of the blurring between the traditional realms of foreign and domestic policy. A new disease emerges, on average, every year, and the number of infectious diseases that have developed resistance to available treatments is growing. Non communicable diseases, once thought to be rich countries' problems, are now major killers in low income countries. The growing interconnections and interdependence between societies and countries brought about by the process of economic globalisation have raised the issue of health firmly onto the international agenda and are demanding new levels of inter-disciplinary and intra-governmental coordination.

Building on a major, multi-year grant from the British Department of Health, this conference will launch the new Chatham House Centre on Global Health Security and explore the inter-linkages between the goals of improving standards of health worldwide and of raising levels of international security and stability. The conference debates conclusions which will feed into the new Centre's near to mid-term work programme.

Interactive moderated sessions with panel and audience participation will help to get the best out of our high profile delegates and discussants. The conference will debate new ideas for policy and practice that integrate global health objectives with foreign policy goals across governments and government departments, specialist international organisations, the private sector and the NGO community.

This conference will be held under the Chatham House Rule. Information for journalists >>

Press can request a press pass using the form below.

Tuesday 10 March 2009


Opening Remarks and launch of the Chatham House Centre on Global Health Security

Dr Robin Niblett
Chatham House

09.40 Questions

Session One
Leadership and Power in the Global Health Agenda

Traditionally, the governments of high-income countries have provided the lion's share of aid money used for improving public health in developing countries. However, their leverage to bring about real change has proved to be limited, and health priorities can be undermined by other national foreign and economic policy priorities. At the same time, new donors, from Brazil to India, and new financial instruments are challenging both traditional donor governments and major international organizations. For example, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation alone now spends more on health annually than the WHO. And the International Finance Facility for Immunization is raising billions to pay for vaccinations across the developing world.

  • Who is defining and driving the global health agenda?
  • How much buy-in to the concept of 'global health' is there among foreign ministries and cabinet offices in major donor countries?
  • Are current international health institutions being challenged or assisted by the power of private and other non-governmental actors?

Chair and Moderator
Dr Robin Niblett
Chatham House


Professor Ilona Kickbusch
Director, Global Health Programme, Geneva Graduate Institute and
Co-founder, European Council on Global Health

Dr Sigrun Møgedal
HIV/AIDS Ambassador
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway

J Stephen Morrison
Director, Global Health Policy Center and Senior Vice President
Center for Strategic and International Studies, USA

Dr Andrzej RyÅ›
Director of Public Health, Public Health and Risk Management Directorate
European Commission

Dr Jeffrey Sturchio
Corporate Council on Africa

Tadashi Yamamoto
Japan Center for International Exchange

11.00 - 11.30 Refreshments

Session Two
Understanding the Role of Health in Helping Countries in Post-conflict Environments

International interventions to deal with persistent violent conflict or to help make peace and deliver post-conflict reconstruction will be a central challenge for many governments in the coming years.

  • Where does health fit into the 'comprehensive approach' to stabilizing post-conflict environments?
  • How can the security and assistance communities work most effectively with local governments to rebuild the effective provision of healthcare in post-conflict situations? What role is there for the NGOs and the private sector?
  • What role do access to healthcare and better health play in improving stability and security in conflict-prone or unstable countries?

Chair and Moderator
Dr Robin Niblett
Chatham House

11.30 Conference Keynote Address
Rt Hon Lord Mark Malloch-Brown KCMG, PC
Minister of State for Africa, Asia and the United Nations
Foreign & Commonwealth Office

11.50 Questions and Discussion

12.00 Keynote Remarks and Discussion
Hon S Ward Casscells
Assistant Secretary of Defense for
Health Affairs, USA

Lt Gen Louis Lillywhite
Surgeon General
Ministry of Defence, UK

13.00 - 14.00 Lunch

Session Three
Responding to Migration

Levels of international as well as internal migration continue to rise across the world. Migration can carry serious health risks across borders as well as overload national health systems in destination countries. How is the health dimension affecting political attitudes and policy responses to migration across the world?

  • What recent experiences have there been of the spread of diseases regionally or trans-nationally?
  • How are governments in destination countries adapting their internal governmental coordination to foresee or prepare for these risks, from pre-emption to detection and quarantine?
  • What steps are being taken to develop best practice regulations and policies between governments in this area?

14.00 Chair and Moderator
Tim Finch
Associate Director and Head of Migration, Equalities and Citizenship Team
Institute for Public Policy Research

Dr Manuel Carballo
Executive Director
International Centre for Migration and Health

Lisa Carty
Deputy Director, Global Health Policy Center
Center for Strategic and International Studies, USA

Prof Dr Wolfgang Hein
Head of Research, Programme 3
GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Germany

Dr Ayanda Ntsaluba
Department of Foreign Affairs, South Africa

Richard Smith
Professor of Health System Economics, Department of Public Health & Policy
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

15.30 - 16.00 Refreshments

Session Four
Pandemics and Emerging Diseases

A new disease emerges, on average, every year and at the same time a number of infectious diseases have developed resistance to available treatments. The threat of a major international pandemic remains real. Governments and international organizations such as the WHO have coordinated intensively since the SARS outbreak and the revised International Health Regulations now serve as a framework under which countries will be able to collaborate in future pandemics. Questions remain, however, about levels of preparedness and coordination.

  • What are the best practices and governance models that have emerged for national and international preparedness and response?
  • How well-integrated are non-health political departments and assets into strategies for detection and response?
  • What role will the private sector play in a crisis context and how well-integrated are their assets and resources into current emergency plans?

16.00 Chair and Moderator
Dr Geoff Watts
Journalist and Broadcaster
BBC Science

Dr David Heymann
Assistant Director-General for Communicable Diseases and the Representative of the Director General for Polio Eradication
World Health Organization

Chris Strutt
Vice President, Government Affairs, Europe and Corporate

Bernard Vallat
Director General
World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)

Dr David Nabarro CBE
Coordination for Avian and Pandemic Influenza and the Global Food Crisis
United Nations

Ambassador John E Lange
Former Special Representative on Avian and Pandemic Influenza
US Department of State

Olga Jonas
Economic Adviser, Operations Policy and Country Services
The World Bank

17.30 Reception

18.00 -19.00
2009 and Hunger is on the March: A conversation with World Food Programme Executive Director Josette Sheeran

With nearly a billion hungry people, hunger and malnutrition are the world's largest health challenge. The severe economic turndown, on the heels of last year's food crisis, underscores that yesterday's global food system can no longer dependably feed the world. World Food Programme Executive Director Josette Sheeran will lead an interactive discussion on tackling hunger and malnutrition in an increasingly volatile and unpredictable environment.

Wednesday 11 March 2009

Session Five
Counterfeit Medicines and Health Security

There has been a dramatic increase in the production and availability of counterfeit medicines in recent years, posing grave threats to individuals as well as to health systems in both the developed and developing worlds. How are we responding to this phenomenon?

  • To what extent has counterfeiting of medicine become a genuine national and international security threat - not only because of its effects, but also the involvement of both global organized crime and terrorist groups in the process?
  • To what extent are the national security, health departments, international organizations and the private sector responding in a coordinated manner to the crisis?
  • How do we best ensure appropriate regulation and enforcement?

Chair and Moderator
Andrew Jack
Pharmaceuticals Correspondent
Financial Times

Keynote remarks
Professor Dora Nkem Akunyili (tbc)
Ministry of Information, Nigeria

Roger Bate
Resident Fellow
American Enterprise Institute

Dr Mohga M Kamal-Yanni
Senior Health & HIV Policy Adviser
Oxfam GB

Dr Frank Mwesigye
National Drug Authority, Uganda

Richard Odoi Adome
Professor & Head, Department of Pharmacy
Makerere University Faculty of Medicine and Board Member
National Drug Authority, Uganda

10.30 - 10.50 Refreshments

Session Six
The inter-linkages between climate change and the global health agenda

  • Climate change has become a central focus for national governments, drawing in multiple actors from foreign ministries to treasuries, trade and economic departments. How are governments addressing the inter-linkages between climate change and new challenges to human health worldwide?
  • What are the most likely impacts of climate change on human health - from the impact of desertification on vulnerable populations to the migration of diseases?
  • How might local and donor governments design health "adaptation" strategies within climate change strategies for countries that are at risk?
  • Which parts of the government should take the lead and what roles are private actors (NGOs and business) playing in this process?

10.50 Chair and moderator
Richard Black
Environment Correspondent
BBC News


Dr Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum
Specialist in Climate Change and Health
World Health Organization

Sarah Hendry CBE
Director of International and Public Health Delivery
Department of Health, UK

Yanzhong Huang
Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Global Health Studies
John C. Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations
Seton Hall University, USA

Dr Ayoade Oduola (tbc)
Coordinator (Stewardship), Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases
World Health Organization

Dr Atiq Rahman
Executive Director
Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies

Dr Marianne Takki
Policy Officer, Health Threats Unit, DG SANCO
European Commission

12.20 - 13.20 Lunch

Session Seven
Impact of Financial Crisis on Health

The international financial crisis risks undermining national and international commitments to improving levels of health across the world and creating new tensions and trade-offs between health and other development goals.

  • Which countries or communities are most at risk from the fall-out of the economic crisis?
    • What are the greatest risks that might emerge at the nexus of health and security from a fall in planned investment?
  • How might improved standards of health counter the negative effects of a persistent slow-down in economic growth globally? Which actors and which processes are best positioned to act?

13.20 Chair and moderator
Rhona MacDonald
Senior Editor
The Lancet

Andrew Jack
Pharmaceuticals Correspondent
Financial Times

Dr Pongpisut Jong-Udomsuk
Director, Health Systems Research Institute
Ministry of Public Health, Thailand

Professor Stephen A Matlin
Executive Director, Global Forum for Health Research and
Co-founder, European Council on Global Health

Gaudenz Silberschmidt
Deputy Director
Federal Office of Public Health, Switzerland

Dr Devi Sridhar
Fellow in Politics
All Souls College, Oxford

Steve Wright
Executive Director
European Centre for Health Assets and Architecture, Netherlands

14.50 - 15.10 Refreshments

Session Eight
Meeting our Commitments

While governments from both developing and developed countries have made improving levels of global health a major priority, follow-through remains deeply problematic. To what extent have the new inter-linkages between global health and foreign and security policy created new momentum for a more coordinated approach to building more stable and prosperous societies across the world? How can we ensure that reality lives up to the rhetoric?

  • How are G-8 governments ensuring that global health is embedded fully in their broader international agendas?
  • What lessons can be learned from the experience and practice of new international players, such as Brazil, India or China?
  • How might key international negotiations, such as the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement, affect progress towards the combined goals of improved health and economic growth?

15.10 Chair and moderator
Dr Robin Niblett
Chatham House

Keynote Remarks
Ivan Lewis MP
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State
Department for International Development, UK

15.40 Discussants
Dr Nicholas Banatvala
Head of Global Health, International Division
Department of Health

Lisa Carty
Deputy Director, Global Health Policy Center
Center for Strategic and International Studies, USA

Dr Nick Drager
Director, Department of Ethics, Equity, Trade and Human Rights
World Health Organization

Dr Pongpisut Jong-Udomsuk
Director, Health Systems Research Institute
Ministry of Public Health, Thailand

Julian Schweitzer
Director, Health, Nutrition and Population
The World Bank

Christopher Singer
PhRMA International

Eiji Yamamoto
Deputy Director General for Global Issues
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan

16.40 End of Conference

© The Royal Institute of International Affairs 2009

Event documents

Rethinking Global Health
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