The role of the UN Security Council in health emergencies: lessons from the Ebola response in Sierra Leone

Oliver Johnson*, Sinead Walsh, Funmi Olonisakin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The UN Security Council has increasingly involved itself in health emergencies over the last two decades, but the advantages and potential risk of its role have not been well explored. The experience Security Council intervention in the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone can be instructive, in particular because it contributed to the establishment of a first-ever UN emergency health mission. While this mission was not considered effective, Security Council involvement may have helped to mobilise resources, highlight the need for a cross-sectoral response, and maintain international flights. More broadly, however, questions remain about whether the securitisation of health risks diverting funding and policy focus towards the priorities of wealthy countries and away from basic health needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-16
Number of pages6
JournalAUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
Volume76
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Ebola virus disease
  • global health security
  • outbreaks
  • Sierra Leone

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