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Can J Public Health. 2006 Jan-Feb;97(1):6-8.

Mapping the future of public health: action on global health.

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We are challenged to develop a public health approach that responds to the globalized world. The present global health crisis is not primarily one of disease, but of governance: its key characteristic is a weakening of public policy and interstate mechanisms as a consequence of global restructuring. The response needs to focus on the political determinants of health, in particular on mechanisms that help ensure the global public goods that are required for a more equitable and secure development. A first step in this direction would be to take up the proposal from the recent 6th Global Conference on Health Promotion to explore the possibility of a new type of global health treaty which would help to establish the new parameters of global health governance. National public health associations should take the lead to establish health as a global public good and organize "National Global Health Summits" to discuss the possible mechanisms for the necessary political process. This means putting global health governance issues onto the agenda of other sectors such as foreign policy, as health is critical not only for poverty reduction but for human security as a whole.

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