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Open Access The World Health Organization in Crisis—Lessons to be Learned Beyond the Ebola Outbreak

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The World Health Organization in Crisis—Lessons to be Learned Beyond the Ebola Outbreak

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Blaming the World Health Organization (WHO) for its failures in the Ebola crisis was a common reaction of the media. However, exclusively denouncing the WHO for the spread of Ebola falls short as it does not recognize the structural deficits of those recent governance procedures financing global health that lead to a chronic underfunding of the WHO. Against this background, the article reflects perspectives of a democratic reform of global health funding. It concludes that only the WHO can provide a leadership on global health matters, but to do so it depends on states willing to rebuild the WHO’s capacities to act. To address the global health crisis properly, the revitalization of WHO’s constitutional mandate is critically necessary. The discussion is based on normative legal theory, which argues that processes of globalization have transformed international law into a global rule of law, placing specific duties on states and international institutions.

Affiliations: 1: Medico International FrankfurtGermanyKarlshochschule International University KarlsruheGermanyJohannes Kepler Universität LinzAustria nmeisterhans@karlshochschule.de

10.1163/23525207-12340013
/content/journals/10.1163/23525207-12340013
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Blaming the World Health Organization (WHO) for its failures in the Ebola crisis was a common reaction of the media. However, exclusively denouncing the WHO for the spread of Ebola falls short as it does not recognize the structural deficits of those recent governance procedures financing global health that lead to a chronic underfunding of the WHO. Against this background, the article reflects perspectives of a democratic reform of global health funding. It concludes that only the WHO can provide a leadership on global health matters, but to do so it depends on states willing to rebuild the WHO’s capacities to act. To address the global health crisis properly, the revitalization of WHO’s constitutional mandate is critically necessary. The discussion is based on normative legal theory, which argues that processes of globalization have transformed international law into a global rule of law, placing specific duties on states and international institutions.

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/content/journals/10.1163/23525207-12340013
2016-06-16
2017-12-11

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