The Preamble to the Charter of the United Nations states:
We the peoples of the United Nations determined
- to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
- to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and
- to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
- to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
And For These Ends
- to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors, and
- to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and
- to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and
- to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples,
Have Resolved To Combine Our Efforts To Accomplish These Aims.
The World Health Organization
The World Health Organization was founded in 1948, and is a specialized agency of the United Nations with 191 Member States. WHO has four main leadership functions:
- to give worldwide guidance in the field of health
- to set global standards for health
- to cooperate with governments in strengthening national health policies and programmes
- to develop and promote the rational use of appropriate health technology, information and standards.
Opportunities for collaboration
The World Health Organization (WHO) definition of health states, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
The Association of Chiropractic Colleges, consisting of all North American chiropractic colleges, unanimously adopted a position paper in 1996. This position paper states that the purpose of chiropractic is to optimize health. The principle of chiropractic is, “The body’s innate recuperative power is affected by and integrated through the nervous system.”
The role of subluxation is also addressed in the position paper:
“Chiropractic is concerned with the preservation and restoration of health, and focuses particular attention on the subluxation. A subluxation…may influence organ system function and general health.”
Research addressing the effects of subluxation correction on wellness and quality of life is essential to implementing these concepts. This might include indices measuring physical state, mental/emotional state, stress, life enjoyment, and ability to engage in activities of daily living.
Vision for the millennium
The WHO has been developed by the United Nations (U.N.) to meet future health challenges. Health for All (HFA) seeks to create conditions where people have a fundamental human right, the opportunity to reach and maintain the highest attainable level of health.
This vision has been embraced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and is articulated in the publication Healthy People 2000:
“The nation has within its power the ability to save many lives lost prematurely and needlessly. Implementation of what is already known about promoting health and preventing disease is the central challenge of Healthy People 2000.”
“But Healthy People 2000 also challenges the nation to move beyond merely saving lives. The health of a people is measured by more than death rates…The challenge of Healthy People 2000 is to use the combined strength of scientific knowledge, professional skill, individual commitment, community support, and political will to enable people to achieve their potential to live full, active lives. It means…assuring that all Americans achieve and maintain a maximum level of functioning.”
B.J. Palmer, the developer of chiropractic, in his book “History Repeats,” also expressed a vision of the new millennium:
“Did you ever think what kind of a world this would be in a short time — not later than 2000 A.D. — if the development of Chiropractic should continue until that time in proportion to the way it has developed during the last five years? By the time mentioned, we would see a race of giants, physically and mentally.
“There would be no chronic diseases of any kind; people would not know what tuberculosis is, except from history; no insane hospitals where men and women are confined as in a prison and made to suffer untold abuse…There would be no more penitentiaries because no crime would be committed by a sane man or woman; no poor houses because every man would be well and happy and have full possession of his faculties…
“You are to prepare the way for future generations to follow. You are to blaze the way, blast the rocks, clear all rubbish of ignorance and prejudice, and open up the grand highway of truth.”
Realizing the dream
This shared vision can only become a reality if it is implemented by individuals with purpose, passion and commitment. The chiropractic profession has a moral imperative to ensure the incorporation of subluxation correction in this strategy. Recognition of the World Chiropractic Alliance as an Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in the U.N. Department of Public Information affords important opportunities to establish strategic alliances.
As U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Louise Frechette wrote: “We believe in the power of NGOs. NGOs are the leading edge of civil society — the legions of local authorities, mass media, private sector leaders and academia — who are increasingly involved in international affairs and who are bringing new life and meaning to the idea of an international community. With goodwill and reason, you are serving as the global conscience. With foresight and imagination, you will help us define the future.”