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If law is to play a constructive role, it will require an innovative way of structuring international obligations and this, in turn, will require States to accede to a new model. A vehicle such as a Framework Convention on Global Health (FCGH) could be a starting point. Such a Framework Convention would commit States to a set of targets, both economic and logistic, and dismantle barriers to constructive engagement by the private and charitable sectors. It would have to stimulate creative public/private partnerships and actively engage civil society stakeholders. A FCGH could set achievable goals for global health spending as a proportion of GNP; define areas of cost effective investment to meet basic survival needs; build sustainable health systems; and create incentives for scientific innovation. The World Health Organization (WHO) or a newly created institution could set ongoing standards, monitor progress, and mediate disputes.
A FCGH, or similar mechanisms would not be easy to achieve politically or provide an ideal solution. But, at least, a Framework Convention would go to the heart of the problem—finding creative ways to engage States, the private sector, and civil society to find sustainable solutions to improve prospects for a healthier and longer life for the world’s population.