Centerpoint Now

Centerpoint Now is a WCPUN publication that highlights issues on the agenda of the international community, with a view to showcasing the extraordinary diversity of ways in which the UN’s values and objectives can be promoted and implemented. Produced since 1984 – and in the United States since 2005.

WCPUN is pleased to be joined by Daphne Teo, Global Health Correspondent, providing the following “Global Health Outlook: A Look Ahead to 2017”

2016 was a year marked by epidemics, and it really hit home that without global public health preparedness, such large-scale communicable, infectious diseases can take a terrible human toll. Ebola caused more than 11,000 deaths, infecting at least 28,000 people. Thereafter, the Zika epidemic ran rampage, leaving thousands of babies born with microcephaly— a congenital malformation with smaller than normal head size for age and sex. Then, in December 2016, China reported 14 confirmed cases of H7N9 bird flu, including four deaths.  Middle-East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever loom on the horizon. Marginalized groups in societies are especially at risk. Vulnerable populations tend to bear an undue proportion of health problems, due to their challenges to gain equitable access to healthcare and prevention services. Three of the world’s most fatal communicable diseases–malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis–disproportionately affect populations of developing countries. Now, non-communicable diseases– such as cancer, cardiovascular and chronic respiratory diseases–– are also prevalent among lower income countries.

Upholding the World Health Organization (WHO) Constitution of “the highest attainable standard of health as a fundamental right of every human being”, there is a greater recognition now that a human rights-based approach towards access to timely, acceptable, and affordable health care of appropriate quality is fundamental to addressing this health challenge. A human rights-based approach to health provides strategies and solutions to address and rectify inequalities, discriminatory practices and unjust power relations, which are often at the heart of inequitable health outcomes. Part of what is driving health inequality is the weakness of healthcare systems. Pandemics take their worst toll when the system cannot cope with the shocks. Thus, health-system strengthening has become a central focus for the WHO and other aid agencies for pandemic preparedness. Part of that preparedness is much-needed R&D innovation. More innovation is needed to make us less defenseless and more prepared for potential pandemics. We have to get ahead of the curve and advance promising diagnostics, drugs and vaccines for diseases that can threaten the future. Trials for a vaccine for Ebola, conducted in Guinea and Sierra Leone, look promising. The study showed that 10 days after vaccination, none of the trial subjects developed the Ebola virus disease. Another pandemic alert was given by the former UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, in September 2016. He warned about the threat of drug-resistant/ antibiotic-resistant superbugs. It is estimated that more than 700,000 people die each year from drug-resistant/ antibiotic-resistant infections, and more innovation is needed to address the antimicrobial challenges. In 2017 we can expect progress in this area.

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11 January 2014 – Presentation of WCPUN publication CENTERPOINT NOW
The latest edition of CENTERPOINT NOW will be presented on Saturday, 11 January, 2014, at 12:45 pm at Japan Society (333 East 47th Street, New York, New York). The interactive presentation will feature remarks by celebrated artist, Mariko Mori, along with other contributors to this edition of CENTERPOINT NOW, focused on exploring multi-dimensional facets of “sustainability.” The event will also mark a last opportunity to view Ms. Mori’s exhibit “Rebirth: Recent Work by Mariko Mori” at Japan Society before the exhibit’s January 12, 2014 closing. This event is co-hosted by Japan Society and World Council of Peoples for the UN. RSVP to info@wcpun.org with name and affiliation by Monday, 06 January.
January 11, 2014 CENTERPOINT NOW Invitation

2013 – sustainability?
The forthcoming 2013 issue of WCPUN’s publication, Centerpoint Now, will highlight both input from the formal multilateral sustainable development process, as well as question what “sustainable development” implies at the individual and societal levels with international artists who address sustainable development through various creative multimedia platforms, as well as policy-makers and innovators across disciplines and cultures.

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2011 – Issue dedicated to the UN Alliance of Civilizations

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2009 – Issue dedicated to Disarmament and Human Rights

 

2007 – WCPUN / Centerpoint Now donated its efforts to the

NGO/DPI Executive Committee to produce a publication
“Celebrating NGOs: 60 Years with the United Nations,”
dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the Annual DPI/NGO
Conference, which that year focused on Climate Change.
2005 – Issue dedicated to the 60th Anniversary of the
United Nations and the 2005 World Summit.
Proceeds raised through advertising in the 2005 and 2009 editions
helped sponsor the Annual DPI/NGO Conference.