The globalisation of the world economy and the consequent increase in commerce, travel, and communication have brought benefits to virtually every country. But these changes also bring risks that cannot be addressed adequately within traditional national borders. These risks include emerging infectious diseases, resulting in part from increased prevalence of drug-resistant pathogens; exposure to dangerous substances, such as contaminated foodstuffs, and banned and toxic substances; and violence, including chemical and bioterrorist attack. By investing in global health, industrialized countries will not only benefit populations in desperate and immediate need of assistance, but also themselves--through protecting their people, improving their economies, and advancing their international interests. This paper describes the rationale for involvement of industrialised countries in global health, and suggests a means for its coordination.