Global Health Diplomacy through a Disaster Diplomacy Lens

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 10:30
Oral Presentation
Ilan KELMAN, UCL, United Kingdom
Disaster diplomacy research http://www.disasterdiplomacy.org examines how and why dealing with disasters does and does not influence peace and conflict. This work covers disaster response and recovery and disaster risk reduction including climate change adaptation, from community to international levels. Global health diplomacy is in turn both a field of research and an interdisciplinary endeavor to negotiate, shape and manage the policy environment for health at all scales. One challenge in both disaster diplomacy and global health diplomacy is the continual emphasis on being reactive, rather than enacting 'prevention is better than cure' which saves lives (as well as money). This presentation explores a research and policy agenda for intersections between the fields of global health and disaster diplomacy, including the importance of preventative action--despite such lessons being consistently overlooked in policy and practice--and discusses how insight from disaster diplomacy research can inform international cooperation to strengthen health systems globally. It is particularly poignant in the context of epidemics and pandemics being disasters, so preventative efforts such as vaccine diplomacy could be seen as disaster risk reduction whilst responses to cross-border outbreaks, perhaps called disease diplomacy, would be part of disaster response.