Bridging the gap between science and policy in global health governance

Elsevier, The Lancet Global Health, Volume 10, March 2022
Nay O., Barre-Sinoussi F.

Over the past decades, the political tensions that regularly plague WHO have undermined its authority. Every time an international public health emergency has arisen, WHO has faced internal political gridlock.1 Confidence in the UN agency has dwindled with every health crisis. Today, no one disputes that the political functioning of WHO is an impediment to fulfilling its role as a global health crisis coordinator and promoter of science-based standards. The UN system is still dependent on world politics,2 the failings of which were far too evident during the first months of the COVID-19 crisis.3 In the near future, a comprehensive reform of global health governance will require bold changes, not cosmetic reforms.