"The emergence of novel infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, SARS, and influenza A (H5N1), has led states to appreciate that protection of their citizens from pathogens depends in part upon successful international cooperation on infectious disease surveillance and response. The World Health Organization's revisions to its International Health Regulations, adopted in 2005 and signed by 194 countries, along with the creation of regional networks, represent major advances in cooperation on global infectious disease surveillance and response. These governmental commitments to cooperation entail yielding elements of national sovereignty and demonstrate a willingness to endure potential economic hardship as a result of disclosure of domestic outbreak. They can be understood as enlightened self-interest: in order to protect their own populations, states have to collaborate to protect the populations of other states, even where political tensions otherwise run high. Yet national security interests are not always in harmony with global cooperation, particularly in the realm of sharing of vaccines. On March 30, 2010, USIP's Peacebuilding and Health Working Group convened to discuss the ramifications of international cooperation on infectious disease surveillance for reducing or sowing tension, and implications for U.S. policy. USIP Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow William D. Long and Dr. Harley Feldbaum, director of the Global Health and Foreign Policy Initiative at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, shared findings of their research."
Peace Brief 34
2010 United States Institute of Peace
United States Institute of Peace: www.usip.org