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Philippe Douste-Blazy

Philippe Douste-Blazy
Philippe Douste-Blazy at Quai d'Orsay
French Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
President Jacques Chirac
Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin
Preceded by Michel Barnier
Succeeded by Bernard Kouchner
French Minister of Culture
In office
President Jacques Chirac
Prime Minister Alain Juppé
Preceded by Jacques Toubon
Succeeded by Catherine Trautmann
Personal details
Born (1953-01-01) 1 January 1953
Lourdes, France
Nationality French
Political party CDS; UMP
Occupation Politician; United Nations official
Religion Roman Catholicism

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.

Originally a member of the Centre of Social Democrats (CDS), the Christian Democrat component of the Union for French Democracy (UDF) party, he later joined the Union for a Popular Movement.

A cardiologist of profession he became Professor at Toulouse Sciences University in 1988.


  • Early years 1
  • Political career 2
  • United Nations 3
  • Political functions 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early years

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.

Political career

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.[1] 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.

United Nations

While serving as foreign minister of France, Douste-Blazy became chairman of the Executive Board of 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 United Nations Development Group and the Millennium Communication Campaign.[2]

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.

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

European Parliament

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.

Member of the National Assembly of France for Hautes-Pyrénées : Elected in March 1993 but he became minister / 1997–2001 (Resignation). Elected in 1993, reelected in 1997.

Member of the National Assembly of France for Haute-Garonne : 2001–2004 (Became minister in 2004). Elected in 2001, reelected in 2002.

General Council

General councillor of Hautes-Pyrénées : 1994–2001.

Municipal Council

Mayor of Toulouse : 2001–2004.

Deputy-mayor of Toulouse : 2004–2008.

Municipal councillor of Toulouse : 2001–2008.

Mayor of Lourdes : 1989–2000 (Resignation). Reelected in 1995.

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.

Political functions

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


  1. ^ French FM changes his opinion on Israeli separation barrier EJP
  2. ^ Global Health Innovators Huffington Post

External links

  • Official Facebook profile of Philippe Douste-Blazy
  • Official Linkedin profile of Philippe Douste-Blazy
  • Official Quora profile of Philippe Douste-Blazy
  • Official Twitter account of Philippe Douste-Blazy
  • Philippe Douste-Blazy in Interview with - How 1 USD per Plane Ticket can Provide Global Health
  • Official Twitter account of Philippe Douste-Blazy
  • Official website of Unitaid
Political offices
Preceded by
Jacques Toubon
Minister of Culture
Succeeded by
Catherine Trautmann
Preceded by
Marie-Josée Roig
Minister of Family
29 November 2004 – 2 June 2005
Succeeded by
Xavier Bertrand
Preceded by
Jean-François Mattéi
Minister of Health
31 March 2004 – 2 June 2005
Succeeded by
Xavier Bertrand
Preceded by
Michel Barnier
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Bernard Kouchner
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