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Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion

History of Health Promotion

The first International Conference on Health Promotion was held in Ottawa on November 21, 1986. It was at this conference that The Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion was adopted.

This important document represents a vision that continues to point the way for today’s health promotion. The Charter highlights the conditions and resources required for health and identifies key actions and strategies for pursuing the World Health Organization’s policy of “Health for All.”

Canada is proud to have been an early contributor to health promotion concepts. Not only did Canada co-sponsor and host the first World Health Organization International Conference on Health Promotion, we produced key seminal documents. In 1974, the Federal Minister of Health, Marc Lalonde, released A New Perspective on the Health of Canadians. In 1986, then Minister of Health Jake Epp, in preparation for the international conference, released Achieving Health for All: A Framework for Health Promotion. Since the first International Health Conference in Ottawa, subsequent health promotion conferences have been held in: Adelaide (1988), Sundsvall (1991), Jakarta (1997), Mexico-City (2000) and Bangkok (2005). Each conference adds new contributions to the field.

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