WHO at 70 – working for better health for everyone, everywhere

Milestones :: Perspectives


WHO at 70 – working for better health for everyone, everywhere
5 April 2018 – On 7 April, World Health Day, the World Health Organization marks its 70th anniversary. This year, World Health Day is dedicated to one of WHO’s founding principles: “The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.”…

A renewed commitment to prevent outbreaks from turning into epidemics, and to respond better and faster to humanitarian emergencies, has spurred the creation of a new health emergencies programme that works across all three levels of the Organization. WHO is currently responding to outbreaks and humanitarian crises in more than 40 countries.

Next month, at the World Health Assembly, the Organization will propose a bold new agenda that builds on lessons learnt and experience gained over the past 70 years. It will focus on achieving universal health coverage for 1 billion more people; protecting 1 billion more people from health emergencies and enabling 1 billion more people to enjoy better health and wellbeing – by 2023, the halfway point to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda deadline.

Historical details

WHO succeeded the League of Nations’ Health Organization. Its establishment was approved by the UN Conference in San Francisco, USA in 1945. The WHO Constitution was drafted by a committee, chaired by Dr Brock Chisholm, who became WHO’s first Director-General in 1948. The Constitution was approved by Member States during the International Health Conference in New York, USA.