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So how many charismatic, visionary individuals with impeccable technical credentials are there out there in the world of global health? Let's hope there are at least three, and that they are all in the market for new jobs that offer non-stop opportunities for fundraising and political brinksmanship, along with a daily dose of staff malaise. Three major global health posts are in transition at the moment -- the Director-General of the World Health Organization, the Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, and the World Bank's Senior Vice President of the Human Development Network -- and the selection processes are being scrutinized and critiqued, report Andrew Jack in the Financial Times and Betsy McKay in the Wall Street Journal (subscriptions required). Both correspondents note The Lancet's particularly trenchant indictment of the secrecy with which the Global Fund leadership decision is being made -- perhaps another example of how international organizations have trouble following all the good advice they give to developing country governments about the value of transparency.
As these positions are filled through systems that do not even vaguely resemble open processes, there's a clear message to those who are calling the shots: Many who know how important global health is to prospects for economic and social development are watching, and will continue to push for higher levels of accountability by international organizations.
CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.
Since Charles, Janeen, and I last wrote about the links between drug-resistant superbugs and antibiotic use in livestock, there has been a slew of new interesting, terrifying, and informative things to read on the topic. And they all underscore the need for a global approach to reduce agricultural use of antibiotics to promote animal growth and prevent disease in large, concentrated feeding operations. We offered initial ideas on the essential elements of a global treaty here. You can also read more about the problem, and the steps taken thus far to address it, in my new CGD book, Global Agriculture and the American Farmer: Opportunities for US Leadership.
McDonald's has just gone global with its commitment to serve chicken free from antibiotics that are critically important to human health. Building on a similar phase-out in its US chicken supply in 2016, the company will ban critical antibiotic use from sourced chicken in a handful of high-income countries and Brazil in 2018, expanding to a longer list of “designated markets” by 2027. That's evidence of both the potential to reduce global antibiotic use in livestock and the vital role consumers can play in speeding progress.
Each of the G20 summits of the past seven years has suffered in comparison with the London and Pittsburgh Summits of 2009, when the imperative of crisis response motivated leaders, finance ministers, and central bankers to coordinate effectively with each other. Subsequent summits have lacked the same sense of urgency and have failed to deliver any kind of agenda that can be pinpointed as clearly as “saving the global economy.” This week’s summit in Hamburg, Germany promises more of the same, with the real possibility that the G20’s stock could fall even further at the hands of a non-cooperative US delegation.