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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 204

Global health diplomacy fingerprints on human security

1 Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, ON, Canada
2 Department of Political Science, Faculty of Arts, University of Alberta, Canada
3 Bruyère Research Institute, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada
4 Deputy Director and Head of Governance for Global Health United Nations University-International Institute for Global Health, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Correspondence Address:
Vijay Kumar Chattu
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, ON
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijpvm.IJPVM_11_19

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Human security is a concept that challenges the traditional notion of national security by placing the 'human' as the central referent of security instead of the 'state.' It is a concept that encompasses health and well-being of people and prioritizes their fundamental freedoms and basic livelihoods by shielding them from acute socioeconomic threats, vulnerabilities and stress. The epicenter of “health security” is located at the intersection of several academic fields or disciplines which do not necessarily share a common theoretical approach. Diverse players in the “health security” domain include practitioners in such fields as security studies, foreign policy, international relations, development theory, environmental politics and the practices of the United Nations system and other multilateral bodies like the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). Improvements in health are not only dependent on continued commitments to enhance the availability of healthcare and to strengthen disease prevention systems; they are very much enhanced by that intersection between global security and global health. What is emerging is global health diplomacy paradigm that calls for strengthening of core capacities in the public health and foreign policy arenas aimed at advancing human security through the strengthening of global health diplomacy practices. Human security in its broadest sense embraces far more than the absence of violence and conflict. It encompasses human rights, good governance, access to education and health care, and ensuring that each individual has opportunities and devices to fulfill his or her potential. Every step in this direction is a step towards reducing poverty, achieving growth and preventing conflict. Freedom from want, freedom from fear and the freedom of future generations to inherit a natural environment – these are the interrelated building blocks of human- and therefore national security.

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