Health and foreign policy — unlikely bedfellows? Perhaps . . . Current world interest in the ties between security, poverty, health, human rights, globalisation, and trade was an important backdrop to the symposium on Health and Foreign Policy: Scope for Australian Engagement, held in Sydney on 18–19 September 2003. Whether such a meeting would have taken place before the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center in New York is a moot point. Nevertheless, conference delegates were keen not to focus primarily on the “war on terror”, but rather, on “upstream” issues of social justice, equity, development, conflict prevention and human security. Opening addresses by the Honourable Professor Marie Bashir (Governor of New South Wales) and Kay Patterson (then Federal Minister for Health and Ageing) both stressed the imperatives for closer links between health and foreign policy.
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