World Health Organization
The World Health Organization is the United Nations specialized
agency for health. It was established on 7 April 1948. WHO's objective, as set out in its Constitution, is
the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health. Health
is defined in WHO's Constitution as a state of complete physical, mental and
social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
Under the League
system a Health Organization was established in 1923. This can be seen as a
predecessor of the WHO.
WHO is governed by 193 Member States through the World Health Assembly.
The Health Assembly is composed of representatives from WHO's Member States.
The main tasks of the World Health Assembly are to approve the WHO programme
and the budget for the following biennium and to decide major policy
questions. The Health Assembly is held in the Palais des Nations in Geneva (photo: WHO/P. Virot).
Members are all members states of the United Nations, except Liechtenstein, as well as Cook Islands and Niue. Territories that are not responsible for their own
foreign relations may become an associate member.
Member states are grouped into six regions, each with
a regional office: Africa, the Americas, Eastern
Mediterranean, Europe, South
East Asia and Western Pacific. The regional office for the Americas is
better known as the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
Special Goodwill Ambassadors have been appointed to
promote the work of the WHO: Liya Kebede (Ethiopia), Yohei
Sasakawa (Japan), Sylvie
Vartan (France) and The
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (Austria).
From 1948 to 1995 special stamps were issued by Switzerland for use
on mail from the WHO Headquarters in Geneva. These
stamps can be found in the stamp catalogue.
The website of the World Health Organization.
Flag of the WHO in Flags
of the World.
Article on the WHO in Wikipedia.
WHO 20th anniversary
WHO 25th anniversary
WHO 40th anniversary
WHO 50th anniversary
World AIDS Day
World Blood Donor Day
Eradication of Smallpox
WHO Headquarters, Geneva
on Nutrition, Rome
The World United
Stamp catalogue - general issues
Belgium 17 April
Stamp catalogue - 50th anniversary
Suriname 4 December 1998
Up - Home
last revised: 5