“Unfortunately, in the last two decades, when globalization became the mantra, it was primarily an economic mantra,” said Frederick Burkle, a senior fellow with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, visiting scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health, and senior public policy scholar at the Wilson Center. “The mantra was, ‘if you can improve the economy,” he said, “health, education, everything will follow.’”
“With the financial crisis, that proved not to be true,” Burkle said, and as a result, net expenditures in health and education have declined and the private sector, unfortunately, has not filled the gap.
“We really need to redefine globalization,” Burkle said. “And certainly economics will be there…but health, education, and human rights need to be just as dominant as the economics.”
Burke said he expects a gradual realignment of global priorities to come as younger generations come into decision-making roles. “They don’t have political clout right now,” he said, “but when they do…I think we’re going to see all these aspects that I mentioned – even the humanitarian profession becoming a career – accelerated.”