New global council on inequality, AIDS and pandemics being set up by UNAIDS in partnership with IHE
Professor Sir Michael Marmot is to co-chair a new global council on inequality, AIDS and pandemics. The Council is being set up by UNAIDS, which is well positioned to engage all agencies and civil society collaboratively and inclusively given its unique position as the only joint UN programme. Social and economic inequalities are driving today’s pandemics, including COVID-19, AIDS and Monkey Pox (MPox).
Michael will be joined as co-chair by the Nobel laureate in economics and University Professor at Columbia University Joseph E Stiglitz and First Lady of Namibia, Monica Geingos, UNAIDS Special Advocate for Young Women and Adolescent Girls.
Our health is a human right, yet people’s lives are being cut short through no fault of their own, as a result of avoidable inequalities. Pandemics expose and magnify that where we are born, grow, live, work and age (the social determinants of health, SDH) drive our health and how long we live.
Commenting, Professor Sir Michael Marmot said: “UNAIDS’ unique role in bringing agencies together means the two-year council provides real potential to reduce the risk of pandemics and better prepare for them by addressing the social determinants of health. The IHE supports the commissioning by building the evidence of the impact of inequalities on the course of pandemics and helping to develop recommendations for action.
It is a privilege to work with my co-chairs Joseph Stiglitz and Monica Geingos. Together we will create an ambitious agenda and, with UNAIDS, build on the global social movement that was launched 15 years ago by the Commission on the Social Determinants of Health. Since 2008 there has been a lack of political will to act. We know what to do. Health inequalities are mostly caused by the social determinants of health - driven by inequalities in access to power, money and resources."