O'Neill Institute Papers
 

Title

An Independent Review and Accountability Mechanism for the Sustainable Development Goals: The Possibilities of a Framework Convention on Global Health

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-20-2016

Abstract

The Framework Convention on Global Health (FCGH), a proposed global treaty to be rooted in the right to health and aimed at health equity, could establish a nuanced, layered, and multi-faceted regime of compliance and accountability to the right to health. In so doing, it would significantly strengthen accountability for the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which it would encompass.

Legally binding, the FCGH could facilitate accountability through the courts and catalyze comprehensive domestic accountability regimes, requiring national strategies that include transparency, community and national accountability and participatory mechanisms, and an enabling environment for social empowerment. A “Right to Health Capacity Fund” could ensure resources for these strategies. Inclusive national processes could establish targets, benchmarks, and indicators consistent with FCGH guidance, with regular reporting to a treaty body, which could also hear individual cases. State reports could be required to include plans to overcome implementation gaps, subjecting the poorest performers to penalties (e.g., restrictions on assuming global health leadership positions) and targeted capacity building measures. Regional special rapporteurs could facilitate compliance through regular country visits and respond to serious violations. And reaching beyond government compliance, from capacity building to the courts and contractual obligations, the FCGH could establish nationally enforceable right to health obligations on the private sector.