Uniting Nations

By Ginny A. Roth

Poster showing a boy with a cup and a world map in the background reads Health for all by the Year 2000

“Health For All By The Year 2000”, undated
National Library of Medicine #A025628

This undated poster from the United Nations (UN) Association of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, “Health For All By The Year 2000,” recognized a global strategy of the World Health Organization (WHO), a specialized agency of the UN, for the attainment of health care by all people of the world by the year 2000.  At the core of the strategy was the concept that health is a basic human right.  The strategy was meant to ensure access to primary health care to all people across the globe and significantly reduce occurrences  of disease, disability, and premature death. Obstacles, mostly political, prevented this declaration from becoming a reality.

Fifty-one countries committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights founded the UN after World War II on October 24, 1945, the anniversary of which has been celebrated as United Nations Day  since 1948.  The stated aims of the UN include working on a broad range of issues, such as environment and refugees protection, disaster relief, counter terrorism, human rights, and economic and social development.

Among the nations of the world, the UN serves as a central unifying organization. Its mission is to coordinate critical efforts among these nations in order to achieve its goals of developing peace, friendly relations, and an improved quality of life for the global population. The UN provides a forum for its 193 member states to express their views through multiple specialized agencies that, in addition to the WHO, include the World Bank Group and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

portrait of Ginny Roth outsideGinny A. Roth is the Curator of Prints & Photographs in the History of Medicine Division at the National Library of Medicine.