World Health Organisation (WHO)

Switzerland is a founding Member of the WHO and hosts the organisation's headquarters in Geneva. It is committed to attaining the WHO's goal to build a better, healthier future for people. It also seeks to promote Geneva as the international health capital.

CH Delegation WHA 2017
The Swiss delegation, led by Federal Councillor Alain Berset, on the first day of the 70th session of the World Health Assembly, Geneva, 22 May 2017

A normative role

The WHO is the directing authority for the health field within the United Nations system. It sets the standards and determines criteria for public health. The Member States then assimilate these standards in their legal bases. In addition, the WHO defines global research programmes and channels the results into its health policy recommendations. This normative basis leads to the establishment of standardized regulations, which are of key importance for Switzerland.

A supporting role

The WHO was set up in 1948 after the Second World War with the same ambitions as those that prompted the creation of the United Nations system. Its constitution promotes an ideal – "the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health", defined as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity". In accordance with this call, the WHO works with all Member States to support their national health development process.

Switzerland is committed to Geneva as an international health capital

Switzerland supports the presence of WHO in Geneva. It has committed to providing the organization with an advantageous loan for the construction of a new building and the renovation of its current main building.

Last modification 19.07.2018

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