O'Neill Institute

O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law Newsletter - October 2016

O'Neill Institute
O'Neill Institute
O'NEILL INSTITUTE NEWSLETTER

OCTOBER 2016

 


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A MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OSCAR A. CABRERA

It is October, and a lot is happening at the O’Neill Institute. This month the Institute will host events on the safety of personal health information, the legalization of drugs, harm reduction and public health, women’s health and reproductive rights, and refugee health, law & policy. We also look forward to reading Professor Gostin, Jeffrey S. Crowley and Sam F. Halabi’s book Global Management of Infectious Disease after Ebola which will be published later this month.

In September O’Neill Institute staff contributed to many critical health law discussions across the country, including: President Obama’s National Cancer Advisory Board; the Global Strategy on Women’s, Children’s; A Rights-Based Approach to Zika: Putting Women and Girls at the Center of the Global Response; Black Men and Health Disparities; and, Challenges in Access to Medicines in the Developing World, as well as publishing on important topics including Hepatitis C Data Collection and Surveillance, Surrogacy in India, the Sugar Industry and Prescription Drug Access.

This fall we also welcomed Professor Gian Luca Burci to the O’Neill Institute. Professor Burci, who is currently Adjunct Professor of International Law at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, joins the Institute this semester as a Distinguished Visitor from Practice, having served as Legal Counsel for the World Health Organization from 2005 to 2016. Professor Burci has been affiliated with the O’Neill Institute since 2008 and joins the team to teach the annual Global Health Law Course at Georgetown Law.

Continue reading below to learn more about these featured updates. See you next month!

WELCOME GIAN LUCA BURCI 

Professor Burci joins the Institute as a Distinguished Visitor from Practice. Since 2010, Professor Burci has been an Adjunct Professor of International Law at the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies in Geneva, and Director of the Joint LL.M. in Global Health Law and International Institutions, a joint degree offered by Georgetown Law and the Graduate Institute of Geneva.  

From 2005 to 2016 Professor Burci served as Legal Counsel for the World Health Organization. Prior to this appointment, Professor Burci held the positions of Senior Legal Officer in the Office of the Legal Counsel of World Health Organization (1998 – 2005), Legal Officer in the Office of the Legal Counsel of the United Nations (1989 – 1998), and Legal Officer in the Legal Department of the International Atomic Energy Agency (1988 – 1989).  
 
Professor Burci’s scholarly work focuses primarily on the law of international immunities, the law and governance of international organizations, global health law and governance with a particular focus on global health security. He is currently member of the editorial board of the International Organization Law Review and co-author of a book on the World Health Organization. Professor Burci has written extensively, with recent publications on the privileges and immunities of the UN and specialized agencies, the responsibility of international organizations and public-private partnerships in the field of health. A national of Italy, Professor Burci holds a doctorate in law from the University of Genoa (Italy).

WHAT TO WATCH FOR THIS MONTH 

In October, Lancet Global Health will publish a commentary by Lawrence O. Gostin, Eric A. Friedman, and other health leaders from around the world on defining what they consider as the top priority for the next WHO Director-General (keep an eye out for the article!), and Professor Gostin, Jeffrey S. Crowley, and Sam F. Halabi’s book Global Management of Infectious Disease after Ebola will be published this month.
 
The institute will also be hosting events throughout the month, including:

O'Neill Institute Colloquium
Safety of Personal Health Information: Regulation around the Emergence of Wearable Technology
Wednesday, October 5, 1:20 pm - 3:20 pm 
Georgetown University Law Center, Hotung building room 2001

O'Neill Institute Colloquium
Legalization of Drugs, Harm Reduction & Public Health
Wednesday, October 12, 1:20 pm - 3:20 pm 
Georgetown University Law Center, Hotung building room 2001


O'Neill Institute Colloquium
Women’s Health & Reproductive Rights: National & Global Perspectives

Wednesday, October 19, 1:20 pm - 3:20 pm 
Georgetown University Law Center, Hotung building room 2001


O'Neill Institute Colloquium
Asylum Seeker & Refugee Health, Law & Policy
Wednesday, October 26, 1:20 pm - 3:20 pm 
Georgetown University Law Center, Hotung building room 2001

SEPTEMBER IN REVIEW 

In September, Faculty Director Lawrence Gostin attended the inaugural meeting for the National Cancer Advisory Board following his appointment to the board by President Obama. Professor Gostin also spoke at several high-level events in September, including a Keynote Panel to discuss Health Disparities at the Public Health Law Association’s Annual Conference. Professor Gostin wrapped up the month attending a briefing with Phillipe Douste-Blazy, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on Innovative Financing for Development, on his candidacy for Director General of the World Health Organization. He also attended a briefing from the United Kingdom's candidate for the WHO Director-General, David Nabarro, Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate Change.

In September, the O’Neill Institute celebrated the Independent Accountability Panel (IAP) for the Global Strategy on Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health new report: Old Challenges, New Hopes. This report is the culmination of a year-long effort that began when UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed the panel of distinguished scholars to help ensure accountability to the United Nations’ Global Strategy on Women’s, Children’s, and Adolescents’ Health. Among the IAP’s eight members is Alicia E. Yamin, Program Director of the Health and Human Rights Initiative at the O’Neill Institute. More information on the report can be found on the O’Neill website.
 
Program Director Alicia E. Yamin was also a contributing expert for the released Report of the High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth: Working for Health and Growth: Investing in the Health Workforce which made recommendations to stimulate and guide the creation of at least 40 million new jobs in the health and social sectors, and to reduce the projected shortfall of 18 million health workers, primarily in low- and lower-middle-income countries, by 2030.

September saw the launch of a new High Level Working Group for the Health and Human Rights of Women, Children and Adolescents, which will help to expand access to health and human rights for women, children and adolescents. As an member of the IAP for the Global Strategy on Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health, Alicia E. Yamin will be an observer on this new group. This group will work for one year to generate high-level political support, at both national and international levels, for the implementation of the human rights-related measures called for under the Global Strategy.



Executive Director Oscar A. Cabrera lent his expertise to a panel at the Swedish Embassy, A Rights-Based Approach to Zika: Putting Women and Girls at the Center of the Global Response. Organized by the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE), Anis Instituto de Bioética, International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region (IPPF/WHR), Promundo-US, and the Embassy of Sweden, this discussion reviewed strategies to address gender inequalities and ensure that women’s health and rights are at the center of the global response to the Zika crisis. 

Institute Associate Sean Bland moderated the O’Neill Institute Colloquium session, Black Men and Health Disparities, providing an overview of the health disparities that exist for black men and black gay men in America today, the ways in which these disparities are being addressed, and the role that law and policy can play in eliminating health disparities.


Jeffrey Crowley moderated the panel The Intersection of Policy, Science and Population Health: Pulling on the Levers of Industry, Economics and Political Will for STD Prevention, a session at the CDC’s 2016 STD Prevention Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, and presented at the annual meeting of the International Bar Association (IBA) in Washington, DC on Providing and Paying for Healthcare: Public, Private or Something in Between? Obamacare and Beyond. 


The O’Neill Institute and Georgetown University Law Center hosted the event What to do after prohibition? Regulatory alternatives in the Americas and the marijuana debate in Mexico. Fernanda Alonso and Alvaro Santos led this full-day event, which provided an overview of the effects that prohibitionist policies have had on drug consumption, incarceration and violence in the United States and in Latin America.

Finally, Sonia Canzater and Jeffrey Crowley hosted a Hepatitis C Policy Project meeting to develop strategies to improve data collection and surveillance of Hepatitis C in the United States. The meeting convened thought leaders from a range of public health backgrounds - including physicians, patient advocates, researchers, and federal agency directors - to identify current challenges, and to develop a comprehensive policy recommendation plan to improve Hepatitis C data and surveillance. 


Copyright © 2016 The O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University. All rights reserved.

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