Foreign Policy Blogs

Global Health at the UN General Assembly

United Nations headquarters in New York City

In a time of political, social, and economic turmoil, the focus on global health has blurred slightly. We’ve made great gains against polio, malaria, HIV, and a number of other diseases in the past decade, but there is, as always, much to be done. With tensions high across the Middle East and Europe, an election in the U.S., a persistent economic downturn, and the dramatic visuals that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu displayed this week, talking about foreign aid and development has become a third rail of sorts. Given the role of the UN, however, and the uncertainty that we’ll get anywhere close to reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, global health issues had to take a spot on the agenda of the 67th General Assembly, which opened on September 18.

Here’s a rundown of some of the conversations:


Header photo, a vintage postcard of the UN headquarters in New York, from the Boston Public Library, via Flickr, CC BY 2.0.



Julia Robinson

Julia Robinson has worked in South Africa at an NGO that helps to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV and in Sierra Leone for an organization that provides surgeries, medical care, and support to women suffering from obstetric fistula. She is interested in human rights, global health, social justice, and innovative, unconventional solutions to global issues. Julia lives in San Francisco, where she works for a sustainability and corporate social responsibility non-profit. She has a BA in African History from Columbia University.