The Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion

First International Conference on Health Promotion, Ottawa, 21 November 1986
CHARTER ADOPTED AT AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON HEALTH PROMOTION* the move towards a new public health, November 17-21, 1986 Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (* Co-sponsored by the Canadian Public Health Association, Health and Welfare Canada, and the World Health Organization)

The first International Conference on Health Promotion, meeting in Ottawa this 21st day of November 1986, hereby presents this CHARTER for action to achieve Health for All by the year 2000 and beyond.

This conference was primarily a response to growing expectations for a new public health movement around the world. Discussions focused on the needs in industrialized countries, but took into account similar concerns in all other regions. It built on the progress made through the Declaration on Primary Health Care at Alma-Ata, the World Health Organization's Targets for Health for All document, and the recent debate at the World Health Assembly on intersectoral action for health.

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Beijing Declaration

Adopted by the WHO Congress on Traditional Medicine, Beijing, China, 8 November 2008

Participants at the World Health Organization Congress on Traditional Medicine, meeting in Beijing this eighth day of November in the year two thousand and eight;
Recalling the International Conference on Primary Health Care at Alma Ata thirty years ago and noting that people have the right and duty to participate individually and collectively in the planning and implementation of their health care, which may include access to traditional medicine;

Recalling World Health Assembly resolutions promoting traditional medicine, including WHA56.31 on Traditional Medicine of May 2003;
Noting that the term "traditional medicine" covers a wide variety of therapies and practices which may vary greatly from country to country and from region to region, and that traditional medicine may also be referred to as alternative or complementary medicine;

Recognizing traditional medicine as one of the resources of primary health care services to increase availability and affordability and to contribute to improve health outcomes including those mentioned in the Millennium Development Goals;

Recognizing that Member States have different domestic legislation, approaches, regulatory responsibilities and delivery models;
Noting that progress in the field of traditional medicine has been obtained in a number of Member States through implementation of the WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy 2002-2005;

Expressing the need for action and cooperation by the international community, governments, and health professionals and workers, to ensure proper use of traditional medicine as an important component contributing to the health of all people, in accordance with national capacity, priorities and relevant legislation;
In accordance with national capacities, priorities, relevant legislation and circumstances, hereby make the following Declaration:

  1. The knowledge of traditional medicine, treatments and practices should be respected, preserved, promoted and communicated widely and appropriately based on the circumstances in each country.
  2. Governments have a responsibility for the health of their people and should formulate national policies, regulations and standards, as part of comprehensive national health systems to ensure appropriate, safe and effective use of traditional medicine.
  3. Recognizing the progress of many governments to date in integrating traditional medicine into their national health systems, we call on those who have not yet done so to take action.
  4. Traditional medicine should be further developed based on research and innovation in line with the "Global strategy and plan of action on public health, innovation and intellectual property" adopted at the Sixty-first World Health Assembly in resolution WHA61.21 in 2008. Governments, international organizations and other stakeholders should collaborate in implementing the global strategy and plan of action.
  5. Governments should establish systems for the qualification, accreditation or licensing of traditional medicine practitioners. Traditional medicine practitioners should upgrade their knowledge and skills based on national requirements.
  6. The communication between conventional and traditional medicine providers should be strengthened and appropriate training programmes be established for health professionals, medical students and relevant researchers.

Resolution EB134.R6 - Traditional Medicine

Updating the Strategy on Traditional Medicine

In 2009 the Sixty-second World Health Assembly adopted resolution WHA62.13, requesting the Director-General, inter alia, to update the WHO traditional medicine strategy: 2002–2005, based on countries’ progress and current new challenges in the field of traditional medicine.

In line with resolution WHA62.13, WHO organized a broad consultative process, convening experts, Member States and other stakeholders across the six WHO regions to develop the strategic objectives, directions and actions for an updated strategy on traditional medicine for the period 2014–2023.

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