Equity, International Cooperation, and Global Public Health: Use of the Common but Differentiated Responsibilities Principle in the Fight against COVID-19
2022, Hamrouni, Maia-Oumeima, Canal Forgues, Eric
During pandemics, in which harm is universal, states find themselves under an obligation to cooperate within a global solidarity framework. However, because they do not have the same set of capabilities, their obligations should be differentiated and based on equity and distributive justice. As an effective tool of States’ foreign policy, health diplomacy is being used by developing countries according to different priorities and interests. After a few months of relative calm, COVID-19 still poses a major challenge for African and Middle Eastern economies and societies where the vaccination rates are low across the board with healthcare systems in poor shape. If some Gulf countries can be considered exceptions due to active lockdowns, mobility restrictions, and considerable testing, their engagement abroad to help contain the pandemic, especially in North Africa, shows that, if the spirit of cooperation and justice is well taken care of at the regional level, this is not the case at the international level, where global health cooperation would clearly benefit from the application of a type of differentiated treatment such as the one provided by the Common but Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR) principle.