Philippe Douste-Blazy at Quai d'Orsay
|French Minister of Foreign Affairs|
|Prime Minister||Dominique de Villepin|
|Preceded by||Michel Barnier|
|Succeeded by||Bernard Kouchner|
|French Minister of Culture|
|Prime Minister||Alain Juppé|
|Preceded by||Jacques Toubon|
|Succeeded by||Catherine Trautmann|
1 January 1953 |
|Political party||CDS; UMP|
|Occupation||Politician; United Nations official|
Philippe Douste-Blazy (born 1 January 1953) is a United Nations official and former French centre-right politician. He has been Under-Secretary-General, Special Adviser on Innovative Financing for Development in the United Nations since 2008 and chairman of UNITAID since 2006.
He previously served as French Minister for Health (1993–1995 and 2004–2005), Minister of Culture (1995–1997) and as Foreign Minister in the cabinet of Dominique de Villepin (2005–2007). He was mayor of Lourdes 1989–2000 and mayor of Toulouse 2001–2004.
Born in Lourdes in the Hautes-Pyrénées, Douste-Blazy studied medicine in Toulouse, where he had his first job in 1976. He then worked as a cardiologist in Lourdes and Toulouse, namely in Purpan's hospital from 1986. He then joined the French Society of Cardiology. He became Professor of Medicine at Toulouse Sciences University in 1988.
Member of the Centre of Social Democrats (CDS), the Christian Democrat component of the Union for French Democracy (UDF), he entered politics in March 1989, being elected mayor of Lourdes and then Member of the European Parliament in June of the same year. He was then a member of the European People's Party. This year was also the one of his election as national director of the association of research against elevations of cholesterol.
Elected deputy for Hautes-Pyrénées département in March 1993, he integrated the cabinet of Edouard Balladur as Minister-Delegate (a junior minister) at the Ministry for Health. He stayed at this ministry until the 1995 presidential election. In March 1994, he was elected at Hautes-Pyrénées's General Council. He became general secretary of the CDS in December and Government's spokesman one month later.
In May 1995, after the election of Jacques Chirac as President of France, a candidacy he was backing, he was nominated Minister of Culture. In June, he was also re-elected Mayor of Lourdes then, five months later, elected general secretary of Democratic Force, the party which replaced the CDS .
In June 1997, the overwhelming defeat of the Presidential Majority during legislative election made him lose his position as Minister of Culture, but he remained deputy of Hautes-Pyrénées and became president of the UDF parliamentary group at the French National Assembly. During the election campaign he was badly hurt when a mentally unstable man stabbed him in the back as he was campaigning in Lourdes. It turned out that the Minister's assailant was an Albanian refugee who had already tried to attack Mr Douste-Blazy in 1992.
At the head of the centerist parliamentary group, he was often opposed to the UDF party leader François Bayrou. Indeed, while this one advocated the emancipation of the UDF towards its Gaullist allies, Douste-Blazy proposed the union of the right-wing parties behind President Chirac. Elected Mayor of Toulouse in 2001, he supported Jacques Chirac in the two rounds of the 2002 presidential election, in spite of the candidacy of François Bayrou. Consequently, he participated to the unification of some right-wing groups in the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) and appeared as a possible Prime Minister. However, once re-elected, President Chirac choose Jean-Pierre Raffarin and Philippe Douste-Blazy refused tu resign from its mayoralty to be minister. The same year, he changed of constituency and was elected deputy for Haute-Garonne département.
After the electoral crash of the UMP in the 2004 regionnal election, he left its function in Toulouse and returned at the Ministry of Health. His predecessor Jean-François Mattéi was discredited due to his behaviour during the Summer 2003 heatwave crisis. He was the instigator of a new reform of medical insurances.
Then, after the rejection of the European constitution in 29 May 2005's referendum, he became Minister of Foreign Affairs. In that position, he announced his support for the Israeli separation barrier on 25 October 2006. He left the position with the departure of Jacques Chirac from the Presidency in May 2007. He did not run for a new parliamentary term in 2007.
While serving as foreign minister of France, Douste-Blazy became chairman of the Executive Board of UNITAID, the International Drug Purchase Facility hosted by the World Health Organization which France co-founded in 2006.
On 19 February 2008, Philippe Douste-Blazy was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General as Special Adviser on Innovative Financing for Development, with the rank of UN Under-Secretary-General, . He is also the chairman of the board of the Millennium Foundation for Innovate Finance for Health.
His main responsibilities as the Special Adviser include promoting UNITAID and other sources of innovative financing for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), advising the United Nations Secretary-General on innovative financing solutions to the implementation of the Monterrey consensus, coordinating with the High-Level Group on the MDGs, and liaising with various UN and non-UN related institutions, such as the main Bretton Woods institutions, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development-Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC), the United Nations Development Group and the Millennium Communication Campaign.
Douste-Blazy is also in charge of organizing the first World Conference of Non-Governmental Donors, with a special focus on the financing for development provided by citizens, local and regional authorities, foundations, non-governmental organizations, economic and social representatives, faith groups and the private sector. It is hoped that these innovative sources of funding could compensate the insufficient official development assistance in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
Minister of Health and government's spokesman : 1993–1995.
Minister of Culture and government's spokesman : 1995–1997.
Minister of Solidarity, Health and Family : 2004–2005.
Minister of Foreign Affairs : 2005–2007.
Member of European Parliament : 1989–1993 (Became minister in 1993 and elected in parliamentary elections in March 1993).
National Assembly of France
President of the group of Union for French Democracy : 1998–2002.
General councillor of Hautes-Pyrénées : 1994–2001.
Deputy-mayor of Toulouse : 2004–2008.
Municipal councillor of Toulouse : 2001–2008.
Municipal councillor of Lourdes : 1989–2001. Reelected in 1995.
Urban community Council
President of the Urban community of Greater Toulouse : 2001–2008.
Member of the Urban community of Greater Toulouse : 2001–2008.
General secretary of the Union for a Popular Movement : 2002–2004.
- French FM changes his opinion on Israeli separation barrier EJP
- Global Health Innovators Huffington Post
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- Official website of Unitaid
|Minister of Culture
|Minister of Family
29 November 2004 – 2 June 2005
|Minister of Health
31 March 2004 – 2 June 2005
|Minister of Foreign Affairs