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The World Health Organization between North and South$
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Nitsan Chorev

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450655

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450655.001.0001

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A New International Order in Health

A New International Order in Health

(p.42) 3 A New International Order in Health
The World Health Organization between North and South

Nitsan Chorev

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the World Health Organization's (WHO) strategic response to the call for a New International Economic Order (NIEO) and how it was able to contribute to the new international order in the field of public health. More specifically, it considers the discrepancy between the NIEO and WHO policies and how this discrepancy was created through the maneuvering of the WHO leadership and staff rather than negotiations between North and South. It shows how strategic adaptation enabled the WHO to satisfy the expectations of developing countries while safeguarding the organization's material and ideational goals. It also explains how, by reinterpreting the meaning of the principles of socioeconomic development, equity, and self-reliance, the WHO secretariat was able to present its central agenda—Health for All by the Year 2000 through promotion of primary health care—as loyally following the logic of the NIEO, without compromising the organization's commitment to its constitution and to new perceptions in public health knowledge.

Keywords:   public health, World Health Organization, New International Economic Order, strategic adaptation, developing countries, socioeconomic development, equity, self-reliance, Health for All by the Year 2000, primary health care

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