Bridging the Divide: The Global Governance of Trade and Health

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LEE K., Sridhar D, Patel M. (2009), “Bridging the divide: The global governance of trade and health?” Lancet; 373 (9661); January 31: 416-22.

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Global governance

The main institutions responsible for governing international trade and health, theWorld Health Organization and General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT),replaced by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995, were established after theSecond World War. The two domains largely operated separately for many decadeswithin their respective domains. The growth and expansion of world trade over thepast half century amid economic globalisation, and the increased importance of healthissues to the functioning of a more interconnected world, brings the two domainscloser together on a broad range of issues. This has given rise to a number ofinstitutional challenges. Foremost is the capacity of these institutions to govern theirdomains effectively, not only in carrying out their functional roles, but ensuring goodgovernance. Where trade and health issues come together, how well do existinginstitutions work together? Fundamental questions have been raised on both counts.

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