Ismail Lagardien Columnist & essayist

A little more than four month ago, in this space, I made the argument — a reasonable argument I thought — that the UN Development Programme (UNDP) will have to play a deliberative role to prevent Covid-19 vaccine nationalisation. The argument drew on the UNDP’s own proposal to deal with transnational health crises, through the lens of Global Public Goods (GPG), first published in 1999.

A little more than 20 years later, and in the midst of a global pandemic, the UNDP and a range of other institutions have made little to no progress beyond “reaffirming the significance of Global Public Goods for health” (Saudi Arabia Think 2020), “Developing economies after COVID-19” (the Graduate Institute of Geneva), and the real doozy “Recovering from COVID-19: the importance of investing in global public goods for health,” by the UN itself. For 20 years, it seems, the UN have been talking about the value of GPG for addressing recurrent transnational global crises...

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