TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
On this auspicious occasion of the celebration of the Tenth Anniversary of the establishment of the World Health Organization in most countries of the world, it is fitting and proper to bear in mind the lofty ideals of the Organization as set forth in the Preamble to its Constitution.
The purpose of the Organization is, in essence, the securing of the “highest attainable standard of health” to every human being “without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social position.” As we all know, disease is one of deadliest enemies of mankind. But, thanks to the progress achieved in the field of medical science during this century, man is now no longer a defenceless victim against all types of disease. Today we have a World Health Organization to co-ordinate the knowledge accruing from medical science that has been inherited from individuals such as Louis Pasteur, Sir Alexander Fleming and Konrad Roentgen, who have devoted their lives to free mankind from the scourge of disease. The Organization assists member countries in planning and organizing their health programmes, and thus helps to bring the benefits of medical science to those who suffer from disease. This is not only of inestimable value to the individual countries to which the Organization extends advisory, technical and material assistance, but also to the entire world at large – for in this age of swift travel facilities, it is evident that our world has contracted in its relative geographic position and, consequently, the outbreak of a contagious disease in one country is a danger to the rest of the world. Hence the necessity for every country to enforce international health regulations as prescribed by the World Health Organization.
We are happy to state that the World Health Organization has co-operated with Our Ministry of Public Health in planning and organizing a number of important public health projects in Our Empire and in granting scholarships and fellowships to enable Ethiopians to pursue specialized studies in the general field of medicine and public health. Some of these young men and women, who have benefited by the grants are already rendering valuable service in our Empire. Furthermore, Our Ministry of Public Health has an extensive health programme which is to be realized with the co-operation of World Health Organization specialists in Ethiopia. We are confident that the co-operation of the Organization with Our Government will grow and become even more fruitful in the years that lie ahead.
In as much as the United Nations Organization is vital in matters of world peace and international understanding, so its Specialized Agencies are likewise indispensable to the cause of international well-being in that they endeavour to resolve the economic, social and humanitarian problems of the international community. In this respect, the role played by the World Health Organization has been of considerable humanitarian value. It is, therefore, appropriate that, as the World Health Organization celebrates its Tenth Anniversary, we should all join in renewing our faith in the Organization and in pledging our unwavering moral and material support in its universal fight against disease – the common enemy of mankind.
Apr. 7, 1958.
Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 541 –