IHP news #514

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IHP news 514 : World TB day

By on March 22, 2019Dear Colleagues,

While Global Health seems to be going through a “midlife crisis”   (or worse), and Planetary Health seems not up to this century’s enormous challenges either, the global needs only seem to increase. This week’s IHP issue will pay attention, among others,  to World Water Day (with plenty of reports, showing the importance of SDG 6), World TB Day (and the inevitable Lancet Commission on TB  that goes with it 😊), (equally inevitable) nasty Trump administration scheming at the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in Geneva, a new report on gender equity in the health workforce, the horrifying impact of cyclone Idai, perhaps the southern hemisphere’s worst such disaster so far,  the 2nd High-Level UN conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40) in Buenos Aires, International Day of Happiness (and the 2019 World Happiness report, a slightly surrealistic exercise nowadays 😊), the launch of international guidelines on human rights and drugs policy (in Vienna), a  WHO expert panel paving the  way for strong international governance on human genome editing, must-read CGD reflections on [email protected]   … and much more.

If you allow me a short reflection perhaps, linked to Frans Timmermans’ final ( & rather enthusiastic) quote at the Global Solutions summit in Berlin (18-19 March), “I can’t wait till Greta Thunberg’s generation is in charge!’. While that obviously shows the EC’s “number Two” is full of praise for Greta and her generation, I sure hope that his(/mine) generation still pull off some major transformative change(s) too, while in power. After all, “The Global Solutions World Policy Forum brings together #G20 leaders and leading scientists to find solutions to the world’s great challenges.”   Meanwhile, according to Alice Swift, the response youngsters often get from right-wing and centrist responses to climate change, is a   “fantasy of techno-fixes and “studying hard” to solve climate change”. In her words:  “Theresa May told kids during the last Climate Strike that they should instead attend their lessons and study hard “so that they can develop into the top scientists, engineers and advocates we need to help tackle this problem”.” I’m sure this sounds familiar, also if you’re not from the UK (where the “grown-ups” clearly are in charge nowadays 😊). You sometimes wonder who needs to go back to the school benches, but then again, most right-wing politicians are probably lost causes (and speaking from experience, it’s not as if one gets  any smarter as the years go by, school benches or not 🙂 )

The one thing that young people don’t understand, however, is that adults compromise. Most of us actually have to, while we try to find our way in this life and on this planet. With exception of (unfortunately, rare) people like Thunberg and Monbiot – who argued, correctly, last week we need a new human right for future generations –   most adults know they have to compromise, whether it’s in their private/family life, professional life, organisations, …  or to run a country. When you’re young, on the other hand, the sky is the limit.  And so it should be.

As most sensible adults know by now, however, trouble is, in this case: the climate doesn’t allow for much compromising.       

Enjoy your reading.

Kristof Decoster


(you find the pdf of the full newsletter here: IHP514)

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