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July 2, 2014

The Global Health Security Agenda in an Age of Biosecurity

Author Affiliations
  • 1O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC
  • 2World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Public Health Law and Human Rights, Washington, DC
JAMA. 2014;312(1):27-28. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.4843

In May 2009, President Obama launched the Global Health Initiative with ambitious goals of reforming foreign assistance, expanding programs, and coordinating agencies. Despite progress, these goals have been only partially achieved. Yet 5 years later, on February 13, 2014, the White House launched another bold initiative—the Global Health Security Agenda (GHS Agenda), a US-led diplomatic collaboration with 30 countries, international organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and public/private entities. The GHS Agenda aims to “accelerate progress toward a world safe and secure from infectious disease threats.”1 Does the GHS Agenda signal the end of the Global Health Initiative, and is the policy shift toward securitization a positive step for global health?