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Philippe Douste-Blazy (born on 1 January 1953 in Lourdesmarker, Hautes-Pyrénéesmarker) is a French centre-right politician. He served as Minister for Health (1993-1995 and 2004-2005), Minister of Culture (1995-1997) and Foreign Minister in the cabinet of Dominique de Villepin (2005-2007).

Douste-Blazy is also a cardiologist and Christian Democrat politician from Lourdesmarker. Formerly from the UDF party, he joined the Union for a Popular Movement. His principal former elected positions were mayor of Lourdes and mayor of Toulousemarker.

Early life

He 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 in Toulouse Sciences University in 1988.

Political career

Member of the Democratic and Social Centre (CDS), the Christian Democrat component of the Union for French Democracy (UDF), he entered politics in March 1989, being elected mayor of Lourdesmarker and then Member of the European Parliamentmarker 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-Pyrénéesmarker 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-Pyrénéesmarker'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 candidature he was backing, he was nominated Minister of Culture. In June, he was also re-elected Mayor of Lourdesmarker 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 Toulousemarker 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-Garonnemarker département.

Finally, after the electoral crash of the UMP in the 2004 regionnal election, he left its function in Toulousemarker and returned at the Ministry of Health. Indeed, his predecessor Jean-François Mattéi was discredited in 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, a position he held until the departure of Jacques Chirac form the Presidency in May 2007. He did not run for a new parliamentary term in 2007.

He announced his support for the Israeli separation barrier on 25 October 2006.

On 19 February 2008, Philippe Douste-Blazy was appointed as by the United Nations Secretary-General as Special Adviser on Innovative Financing for Development, with the rank of UN Under-Secretary-General, following his experience as chairman of the Executive Board of UNITAID, the International Drug Purchase Facility hosted by the World Health Organization.

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.

Political functions

Governmental functions

Minister of Health and government's spokesman : 1993-1995 / Government's spokesman from January until June 1995

Minister of Culture and government's spokesman : 1995-1997

Minister of Solidarity, Health and Family : 2004-2005

Minister of Foreign Affairs : 2005-2007

Electoral mandates

Member of European Parliamentmarker : 1989-1993 (Became minister in 1993 and elected in parliamentary elections in march 1993)

Member of the National Assembly of France for Hautes-Pyrénéesmarker : March-May 1993 (Elected in march 1993 but he became minister in may) / 1997-2004 (Became minister in 2004)

Mayor of Lourdesmarker : 1989-2000

Mayor of Toulousemarker : 2001-2004

President of the Urban community of Greater Toulousemarker : 2001-2008

General councillor of Hautes-Pyrénéesmarker : 1994-2001

Political functions

General secretary of the Union for a Popular Movement : 2002-2004

References

External links


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