This Day in the Law
April 7

World Health Organization Established (1948)

On April 7, 1948, the United Nations (UN) established the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO acts as an international public health agency for the UN. The WHO replaced the Health Organization, which was an agency of the UN’s predecessor, the League of Nations. The WHO is one of the original agencies of the United Nations.

In the interim between the dissolution of the Health Organization and the establishment of the WHO, the operations and responsibilities of these organizations were overseen by an Interim Commission, which was put in place after an International Health Conference in the summer of 1946. After two years of discussion and debate, the WHO’s constitution was ratified by the required 26 UN member states on April 7, 1948. Since then, April 7 has been celebrated as World Health Day.

Today, the World Health Organization is still active in all UN member states. The WHO promotes development towards healthful living in member states, conducts research, and works to eliminate disease.