chapter  9
Can the UN promote the WHO’s objectives?
ByTheéodore H MacDonald
Pages 17

The UN has evolved in such a way that the goals of global human rights unambiguously enunciated in the UN’s foundational Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) sometimes conflict with the goals of some of the UN’s co-opted agencies, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). The World Health Organization's success in eradicating smallpox and its near victory over polio provide examples of what can happen when health issues assume a high profile in government thinking internationally. The Alma-Ata Declaration of 1978 was firmly based on the knowledge that the success of its ‘Health For All’ objectives depended not only on international goodwill, but on governments prioritising the UDHR claim that primary healthcare was a human right. The Swiss also works eclectically with the WHO itself, various NGOs in the countries concerned, and private agencies.