United Nations Secretary-General in Croatia: "We all believe there is no better investment than health"

UNDP/Bruno Kljajo

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaking at the Andrija Štampar School of Public Health

Global health received priority attention during a visit by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to Croatia on 20 July 2012. Speaking at the Andrija Štampar School of Public Health, Mr Ban described the United Nations' ambitious plan to eradicate polio and end deaths from malaria, HIV infections in newborns, maternal and neonatal tetanus and measles. 

The Andrija Štampar School of Public Health encompasses WHO collaborating centres for primary health care, occupational health and capacity building on surveillance in HIV/AIDS. In his speech, the Secretary-General commemorated Dr Andrija Štampar, one of WHO's founders, and praised the School's ongoing collaboration with WHO to address major health threats including HIV/AIDS. In reference to Andrija Stampar, Mr Ban said: 

The global definition that he developed states that health is 'a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.' As President of the first World Health Assembly, Dr Štampar showed his broad understanding of public health. He argued that diseases are caused not only by physical and biological factors but also by economic and social conditions. Dr Štampar called for action to enable all people to enjoy good health in the widest sense of that word. This way, he said, WHO would 'become a powerful pioneer of world peace and understanding among nations.'

Following his visit to the School, the Secretary-General held a brief staff meeting at the United Nations House in Belgrade, where he spoke of the United Nations mandate and the need to provide support to countries in transition.