The «translation» of solidarity and cooperation

The «translation» of solidarity and cooperation

OfLaura Palazzani

A challenge that must deal with the (growing) disparities between Global North and Global South. They are intuitively understandable concepts. Yet they can be vague and ambiguous, as well as complex in practical application

The concepts of solidarity and cooperation they are intuitively understandable. Yet on a conceptual and philosophical level they can be vague and ambiguous, as well as complex in practical application in the context of global bioethics. He discussed it the International Bioethics Committee at UNESCO (18-22 September 2023) which published the report «The principle of solidarity and cooperation: challenges to global health». The Universal Declaration of Bioethics and Human Rights (2005) had already explicitly considered the concepts (in articles 13 and 24) as indispensable tools to guarantee that techno-scientific advancement in the field of human rights can benefit everyoneleaving no one behind.

But how to overcome the gap, which actually exists, between knowledge the industrialized countries of the “Global North” and the less developed countries of the “Global South”, a gap that tends to widen today, in particular due to the complexity and rapidity of the development of emerging technologies and in the face of the challenges of climate change? The report of the International Bioethics Committee considers it essential to philosophically clarify the meaning of the terms. Solidarity means in a weak sense the moral will, in a strong sense the moral duty, to take the needs of others seriously in a collective dimensionespecially if particularly vulnerable, overcoming selfish logic; cooperation means looking for collaboration tools in the context of actions.

In the discussion the need for a foundation of concepts emerged a relational vision of man against individualism and a translation into “negative” actions of prevention and alleviation of risks and hardships and “positive” actions of sharing benefits, assistance and help which do not create passive dependence, but support those who have difficulties, to provide tools to overcome them, developing an active and autonomous capacity (we talk about collaborative partnership). Solidarity and cooperation have the objective of ensure the well-being of people in a collective response to emerging risks in global health challengeswith an inclusive and non-exclusive approach, with particular attention to asymmetry conditions.

The application of the concepts of solidarity and cooperation means implementing global policies (but also local, national, regional) of: inclusion in access to resources and health care, cost reduction; managing disparities and promoting equality; creation of an environment of real collaborative collaboration, social involvement, participation of less represented groups; strengthening these values ​​in education, encouraging public and political debate, pushing towards an open science, accessible to all.

* Professor of Philosophy of Law, Lumsa

March 17, 2024


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