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We are organizations and individuals from all spheres of public life who refuse to tolerate unconscionable health inequities that persist today. We believe in the power of law, coupled with powerful social movements, to create change and help us along the path towards social justice. We advocate for a proposed powerful new treaty, the Framework Convention on Global Health (FCGH), and look to your involvement in this effort. We can only create a more just world based on universal human rights for all together.

About the Framework Convention on Global Health (FCGH)

Multiple treaties and a growing number of national constitutions codify the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. Yet the persistence of immense health inequities demonstrates that something more is needed to turn this right into people’s lived reality. The right to health itself poorly captures the global forces that partially determine its realization, such as economic, migration, and intellectual property regimes, along with the importance of global cooperation in achieving this right, including to resource the right. Meanwhile, largely absent are effective and legitimate structures and processes to secure action and accountability, to create legitimate democratic and global governance for the right to health. The global development world is focused on the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, yet these are unlikely to have the governance and accountability framework that their success demands, while critical factors affect global health such as trade, investment, and intellectual property regimes are unlikely to be effectively addressed.

A Framework Convention on Global Health (FCGH) could create a right to health governance framework. It would be a global health treaty based on the right to health and aimed and closing national and global health inequities. It would provide standards to ensure health care and underlying determinants of health, such as clean water and nutritious food, for all, along with an international and domestic financing framework to secure sufficient, sustained funds, while addressing the social determinants of health. It would establish a transformative understanding of the right to health to create the accountability now missing and adapt the right to our globalized world. It would establish pathways towards national and global health equity, with a special concern for marginalized populations, and further inclusive and democratic decision-making on health and related concerns, domestically and internationally. The FCGH would clearly define extraterritorial obligations, while ensuring that policies in other sectors are responsive to public health needs, including by elevating the status of health and demanding adherence to the right to health in other international legal regimes, such as trade and investment. The treaty would promote strong domestic accountability mechanisms and an effective compliance framework for the FCGH itself, including innovative incentives and sanctions.

As a framework convention, protocols to the convention could address issues with greater precision than the initial treaty. These might include, for example, financing, health workers, and research and development.

More information on the principles underlying the FCGH and why we need it in the FCGH Platform’s statement of principles. A full version and summary version are both available.