Importance of Health Diplomacy to Optimise Global Health

Ira Pastor, ideaXme longevity and aging ambassador and founder of Bioquark, interviews Ambassador Juan José Gómez Camacho, Mexico’s current Ambassador to Canada, and for the last 3 years, Mexico’s Permanent Representative of the United Nations in New York City.

Ambassador Camacho, Photo Credit: Embassy of Mexico in Canada

Today, we are going to talk about a fascinating series of topics related to global health, and we will start by citing some staggering data.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are around 1 billion migrants in the world today. 258 million of them are international migrants and 763 million are internal migrants, that’s one in seven of the world’s population.

68 million of the world’s internal and international migrants are forcibly displaced. This rapid increase of population movement has important public health implications, that is on global health and therefore requires an adequate response from the health sector as many refugees and migrants often lack access to health services and financial protection for health.

Additionally, although we are only 20 years into the 21st century, it is a century that has already been marked by many major epidemics. Old diseases, such as cholera, plague and yellow fever, have all made a return, and many new ones have emerged including SARS, pandemic influenza, MERS, Ebola and Zika.

The issues of both migrant health and epidemics and their impact on global public health require the world’s governments to work together in a collective and coordinated manner to address such mounting public health issues, as these are issues that truly are trans-national in nature.

Ambassador Camacho, Photo Credit: Embassy of Mexico in Canada

Ambassador Gómez Camacho has been a career diplomat since 1988 and has held many different positions within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and abroad, amongst them: Ambassador to the European Union, the Kingdom of Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organizations based in Geneva, Switzerland; and Ambassador to Singapore, Myanmar and Brunei Darussalam.

Ambassador Gómez Camacho holds a Masters Degree in International Law from Georgetown University and has broad experience as a negotiator in bilateral and multilateral fields, in topics as varied as political affairs, human rights, telecommunications, and nuclear and conventional disarmament. He has also carried out work promoting business and investment in different sectors and industries in Mexico.

In his role as Permanent Representative of Mexico to the United Nations, he was designated by the President of the United Nations General Assembly as co-facilitator of the negotiation of a Global Deal to make migration safe, orderly and regular, yielding the Global Compact on Migration 2018.

Ambassador Camacho, Photo Credit: Embassy of Mexico in Canada

During his posting as the permanent representative of Mexico to the UN and other International Organizations in Geneva he had a prominent role in “landmark agreements” and multilateral negotiations including the World Health Organization Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework (PIP), WIPO’s Marrakesh VIP Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled, and the creation of the first special procedure within the UN Human Rights Council on the elimination of discrimination against women in law and practice. He also served on The World Economic Forum’s Human Enhancement and Longevity Council.

About his background, how he became interested in law and public service, and his path to the epicenter of global diplomacy. He tells us of his role in putting together the global compact for migration, the first intergovernmental negotiated agreement, prepared under the auspices of the United Nations, to cover all dimensions of international migration holistically and comprehensively. He elaborates upon his role as part of the WHO Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework and his position on the World Economic Forum’s Human Enhancement and Longevity Council. Moreover, the Ambassador also shares his views on the role of international organizations and health diplomacy in regard to optimising global health — population aging, wellness and care of the elderly.

Ira Pastor, ideaXme longevity and aging ambassador

Credits: Ira Pastor interview video, text, and audio.

Follow Ira Pastor on Twitter: @IraSamuelPastor

If you liked this interview, be sure to check out our interview with Dr. Fernando Llorca Castro, ambassador for Costa Rica to the United States!

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