Read "A Global Charter's for the Public's Health"!

Support the Implementation of the Charter

Read the Booklet on the Charter 

The WFPHA, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), developed in 2015-2016 “A Global Charter for the Public’s Health” (The Charter).


Resilient public health systems are needed both on a local and global scale and within every country. However, the current situation consists of fragmented, variable and incomplete public health services and functions, with little common understanding of what a good public health service should look like.


The Declaration of Alma-Ata on Primary Health Care in 1978 and the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion in 1986 had a major influence on improving health throughout the world. The intention of the Charter is to take the next step in providing a succinct and practical implementation guideline to public health associations. It is a document that ought to be taught in public health faculties and used to develop strategic approaches by public health associations around the world.


  • Encourage work between non-governmental organizations (NGOs), universities, civil society members, governments and corporations
  • Plan and implement strategies for better health outcomes globally
  • Ensure a comprehensive approach to tackling the threats to health everywhere


The Global Charter for the Public's Health provides new insights into the direction of public health and provides guidance for both ‘services’ (a group of core services - ProtectionPrevention and Promotion) and ‘functions’ (a group of enabler functions - Governance, Advocacy, Capacity and Information).

  1. Governance: public health legislation; health and cross-sector policy; strategy; financing; organisation; assurance: transparency, accountability and audit.

  2. Information: surveillance, monitoring and evaluation; monitoring of health determinants; research and evidence; risk and innovation; dissemination and uptake.

  3. Protection: international health regulation and co-ordination; health impact assessment; communicable disease control; emergency preparedness; occupational health; environmental health; climate change and sustainability.

  4. Prevention: primary prevention: vaccination; secondary prevention: screening; tertiary prevention: evidence-based, community-based, integrated, person-centred quality healthcare and rehabilitation; healthcare management and planning.

  5. Promotion: inequalities; environmental determinants; social and economic determinants; resilience; behaviour and health literacy; life-course; healthy settings.

  6. Advocacy: leadership and ethics; health equity; social-mobilization and solidarity; education of the public; people-centred approach; voluntary community sector engagement; communications; sustainable development.

  7. Capacity: workforce development for public health, health workers and wider workforce; workforce planning: numbers, resources, infrastructure; standards, curriculum, accreditation; capabilities, teaching and training.


For more information on the different components read the Charter in Brief

How the Global Charter was developed

WFPHA presentation how the charter was developed2WFPHA presentation how the charter was developed2

The History of the Charter


Due to the increasing complexity of public health challenges, Dr. M. Chan, WHO Director-General, invited the WFPHA, in 2012, to debate public health in today's global settings. This activity has been one of the three main topics of the past and current WFPHA-WHO collaboration plans, which includes the World Congress on Public Health and the development of regional federation of public health associations. The work has led to what we know now as 'A Global Charter for the Public's Health'.

The work lasted for some years and involved two main groups: the WFPHA international office and the Public Health Professionals' Education and Training Working Group and task force, chaired at the time by Ehud Miron.

The international office conducted a literature review of the terms 'global health' and 'global public health, and a DELPHI-like study, engaging in a debate with the main stakeholders in public health and related fields to discuss what global health is today, what skills are needed by public health professionals, and how public health should increase its performance in making advocacy. 

The taskforce examined models and built upon existing country and regional level essential public health functions and operations, for example from WHO, PAHO, EURO, the USA, UK, Australia and Canada, proposing the framework reported in the Charter.

The outputs of these two groups were shaped by a drafting team on the Charter, incorporating inputs from the WFPHA policy committee, governing council, as well as from the WHO. 

The Charter was published in 2016, in the European Journal of Public Health, in association with an editorial.   

Background Papers

Lomazzi M, Jenkins C, Borisch B.
Global Health Action 2016, 9: 28772
DOI: 10.3402/gha.v9.28772
Global Public Health: A Review and Discussion of the Concepts, Principles and Roles of Global Public Health in Today's Society
Chris Jenkins*, Marta Lomazzi*, Heather Yeatman, Bettina Borisch. * equally contributed
Global Policy DOI: 10.1111/1758-5899.12302



Click to see the introductory video

WFPHA current and former presidents talk about the A Global Charter for the Public's Health

The Charter: Article & Editorial

A Global Charter for the Public's Health - the public health system: role, functions, competencies and education requirements

M. Lomazzi

The European Journal of Public Health 2016;

DOI: 10.1093/eurpub/ckw011


The Global Charter for the Publics Health (editorial)

Michael Moore; Martin McKee; Bettina Borisch; Walter Ricciardi

The European Journal of Public Health 2016 26 (2): 207

DOI: 10.1093/eurpub/ckw013


Finnish Editorial on the Global Charter for Public Health (in Finnish)

Press Releases

The Press release for the A Global Charter for the Public's Health is available in different languages.

English Version

Chinese Version

Russian Version

Spanish Version


WFPHA Members sustain the Charter

Malta Association of Public Health Medicine - press release

attach xxl MAPHM Press statement – A Global Charter for the Public’s Health

If you need any other information, please, contact our headquarters.


The WFPHA is organizing many events to release the Charter and debate with health professionals and public in general the importance of a new comprehensive approach of global public health.

Upcoming Events

International Vaccination and Capacity Workshop

Register today!

22 May 2019 @ Campus Biotech from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

front picturefront picture

After the success of its 2018 “International Global Health & Antimicrobial Resistance Workshop”, the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) is pleased to announce its 2019 “International Vaccination & Capacity Workshop”. The workshop will discuss strategies and good practices to increase primary prevention through increased capacity (from human to infrastructures to sustainable investments and beyond) applied to the vaccination context.The WFPHA is taking the lead in enhancing the discourse on vaccination and capacity to enable its members, partners and stakeholders to increase their knowledge and advocacy efforts on these important global priorities. The workshop discussions will feed into the deliberations of civil society in the lead up to the United Nations Assembly in September 2019 on Universal Health Coverage. The event is FREE but registration is mandatory!

16th World Congress on Public Health

Register today!

12-17 Ocotber 2020 @ Rome, Italy

In October 2020, public health professionals, students, and community will gather in Rome, Italy, for the 16th World Congress on Public Health. This is an important event that takes place once every three years in a different location around the world. For more information, click here.

rome 2020rome 2020

Past Events

International Front-of-Pack Nutrition Labels Webinar


The International Front-of-Pack Nutrition Labels Webinar 2018 was a huge success with impressive presentations, lively discussions between the audience of health professionals, consumers and our high-level speakers from various countries and sectors. This interaction offered an interdisciplinary insight into front of package labeling approach and its potential implementations. Over 200 people attended the webinars and over 14'000 people have been reached through livestream. At the end of the webinars WFPHA released a Call to Action, supported by all webinar speakers, to encourage governments to take action and make the healthy food choice the easy choice. Additionally, WFPHA encourages support for strong, effective FoPL systems that play a role in improving population health through improved nutrition and a more open, effective, and readily understood system identifying the healthiness of packaged food.

International Global Health & Antimicrobial Resistance Workshop 2018

23.05.2018 Institute of Global Health, Geneva, Switzerland

During the 71st World Health Assembly (WHA), WFPHA was proud to host the International Global Health & Antimicrobial Resistance Workshop. The event was a huge success, with lively interdisciplinary discussions about the challenges and potential solutions of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) between the audience and the speakers. Some of the speakers included high-level representatives like the Minister of Health of Ghana Honourable Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, Mark Sprenger, April Johnson, Manica Balasegaram, Viviana Munoz and the WFPHA immediate past president Michael Moore. Over 250 delegates attended the workshop.

Marc Sprenger, WHO Director of Antimicrobial Resistance Secretariat, opened the workshop emphasizing the importance of education, action, behavioral change and political commitment in combating AMR from a global perspective. Honourable Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, Minister of Health of Ghana, highlighted the significant achievements of the Republic of Ghana on AMR, announcing the implementation of an Antimicrobial Resistance policy with full government support. Small group sessions - facilitated by Denise Denelay, Sonja Löfmark, Anette Hulth, Christoph Spennemann, Renuka Gadde, Rosanna Peeling, Roger Harrison, Herman Goossens, Thomas Tängdén, April Johnson and Bettina Borisch - were run during the workshop to promote exchanges and to mentor young professionals. In the midst of the event, WFPHA emphasized its call for action that aims to direct all actors to use an upstream approach as outlined in the Global Charter for the Public's Health in order to combat AMR, improve existing health services and create more resilient health systems. Herman Goossens from the University of Antwerp closed the workshop by addressing the need to establish antibiotic efficacy as a global public good.

15 th World Congress on Public Health

3.4.2017 – 7.4.2017 Melbourne, Australia

The World Congress on Public Health (WCPH) is held every 2-3 years by the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) and it attracts between 2,000-4,000 delegates. 

The Congress serves as an international forum for the exchange of knowledge and experiences on key public health issues, contributing towards protecting and promoting public health at a national and global level. 

For more information, visit the 2017 World Congress on Public Health’s website.

Global Health: How to develop a healthier world?

07.06.2016 University of Geneva

Salle U300 – Uni Dufour, Geneva, Switzerland

18.30 - 20.30

Experts from different domains have joined this round table event.

Video summary available here

Prof. Bettina Borisch - Executive Director, WFPHA
Prof. Antoine Flahault - Director, Global Health Institute, UNIGE
Dr Edward Kelly - WHO

Prof. Gian Luca Burci -  IHEID, UNIGE
Dr. Jean Simos - IFEH and UNIGE
Prof. Matthias Kliegel - CIGEV

Jamil Chade - «O Estado de São Paulo», Brazil

Event held in French

Global and local: Public Health and Primary Care in action!


Room IX, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

Side event within the World Health Assembly       

Organized by the delegations of World Federation of Public Health Associations, The Network Towards Unity for Health, International Federation of Medical Students Associations, World Organization of Family Doctors, International Alliance of Patients' Organizations and Slovenia.

On Monday, 23rd May the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) presented the “Global Charter for the Public’s Health” to the international Health Audience during a well attended event at the 69th World Health Assembly. The Global Charter is the fruit of a collaboration of the WFPHA with a large number of international individual stakeholders and institutions in the field of Public Health as well as with WHO. It is meant to provide a global framework for all actions that will lead to health for all. The Charter reads in the context of the Social Development Goals (SDGs). The Charter calls upon the basic enabler functions such as education, information, advocacy and governance. All this on the basis of free citizenship in participatory societies / environment.

United Nations Environment Programme


Bettina Borisch, WFPHA executive director, has presented the Charter at UNEP, in a special event to prepare Geneva-based stakeholders to UNEA-2 (United Nations Environmental Assembly). The event is organized by the Geneva Environment Network, UNEP Regional Office for Europe and UN-NGLS.

More information available here.





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