The UNAIDS/IAS workshop concluded yesterday. The most interesting aspect of the day’s session was the consideration of the “global governance” of HIV, which is the configuration of international institutions and actors that try to shape policies, services, behaviors, etc. relevant to the control of the epidemic. The speakers were right to point out some concerns about the problem of large institutions not being able to react with the speed necessary for some types of problems, and for what may seem an unbalanced distribution of authority (still dominated by Northern rich countries, as population and target problems are weighted toward the global South.) To be certain, in an increasingly integrated world, we need to think more about what are the right institutions for addressing truly global problems, rather than thinking about them as problems facing an amalgamation of states.
But I still think it’s worth reflecting more on the enormous successes of global governance organizations in responding to and coordinating responses to this pandemic. Activists can, of course, claim that more should have been done. To think that the rich countries were going to support millions of people on life-saving pharmaceutical treatment in Africa and elsewhere while in many cases (well, really just the U.S.), our own domestic politics does not provide much health care to our own citizens… well, that’s a remarkable story.
Am here at the Tokyo airport, and for the most part, all seems pretty normal here — except for the closure of moving walkways, owing to power cuts associated with the fallout of last month’s natural disasters.