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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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How to Win Friends and Influence Enemies

How to Win Friends and Influence Enemies

(p.189) 7 How to Win Friends and Influence Enemies
The World Health Organization between North and South

Nitsan Chorev

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines how the World Health Organization (WHO), under the leadership of Director-General Gro Harlem Brundtland, was able to overcome the most pressing financial difficulties and regain some of its authority over global health programs by strategically adapting to the principles of neoliberalism. It considers the WHO's efforts to accommodate the interests of the private sector and reinvent the organization as a business-friendly venue, in part by avoiding antagonizing an industry even when important health issues were at stake. It also discusses the WHO's strategic resistance in two instances: a global campaign against the tobacco industry as part of its antismoking mission, and the WHO's opposition to the pharmaceutical sector in the dispute over intellectual property protection and access to antiretroviral drugs.

Keywords:   neoliberalism, World Health Organization, Gro Harlem Brundtland, global health programs, private sector, strategic resistance, tobacco industry, pharmaceutical sector, intellectual property, antiretroviral drugs

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