The world health landscape is characterized by difficulties of access to goods and services, as well as deficiencies in the quality and effectiveness of health systems actions. These characteristics affect particular parts of the population of poor countries that, besides the economic shortage, suffer from the insecurity of other social sectors. Even in rich countries, such problems afflict markedly poorer segments of society, both those who gather on the urban fringe as those who live in remote or scattered areas. In almost all countries, it becomes increasingly more severe the consequences of non-rational incorporation of technological innovations.
Another feature of this scenario in historical perspective is the paradoxical contrast between the living conditions of mankind and the scientific, technological and economic advancement. Such progress has deepened the inequality between those who have access to the benefits of development and those facing more with their burden.
In this sense, the public policies of international cooperation in health should adopt ethical values indispensable for the development of countries, particularly where the health situation reveals economic and social injustices inequities. Nevertheless, international cooperation reflects predominantly the interests of diverse order of the most powerful countries on those deemed “beneficiaries” of this foreign aid. Thus, international solidarity has contributed, paradoxically, to the prevalence of poverty and inequidade just in those places where the cooperation should contribute to the overcoming of this reality.
In this context the movement of South-South cooperation arose, as a “new” paradigm that aims at overcoming these conflicts and the strengthening of the South facing the dependence on the North. However, South-South cooperation can be treated as just another strategy or tool for the unbalanced power accumulation of national States in the global system.
The proposal of the course meets the need for deepening thoughts, between the academic community and public policies makers/executors about the increasing importance of these processes in the context of international relations, particularly where issues linked to bioethics point out methods, operations and results of the initiatives of cooperation between countries.