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Public Health. 2014 Feb;128(2):173-8. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2013.06.006. Epub 2014 Jan 9.

Great expectations for the World Health Organization: a Framework Convention on Global Health to achieve universal health coverage.

Author information

  • 1Department of Public Health, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium. Electronic address:
  • 2Rockefeller Foundation, New York, USA.
  • 3Law School, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya.
  • 4Department of Public Health, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium.
  • 5Center for Health Human Rights & Development, Kampala, Uganda.
  • 6O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University, Washington D.C., USA.


Establishing a reform agenda for the World Health Organization (WHO) requires understanding its role within the wider global health system and the purposes of that wider global health system. In this paper, the focus is on one particular purpose: achieving universal health coverage (UHC). The intention is to describe why achieving UHC requires something like a Framework Convention on Global Health (FCGH) that have been proposed elsewhere,(1) why WHO is in a unique position to usher in an FCGH, and what specific reforms would help enable WHO to assume this role.

Copyright © 2013 The Royal Society for Public Health. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Convention; Human rights; Right to health; Universal health coverage

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