International Agreements

Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014-2023

The recent release of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014-2023 [PDF] (opens in a new window) provides an important message to all world Governments that TM is an important and underestimated part of health care found in almost every country in the world, and community demand for it is increasing.

The Beijing Declaration

The World Health Organisation (WHO) held its first Congress on Traditional Medicine in Beijing on 7-9 November 2008. WHO issued the Beijing Declaration [PDF] (opens in a new window) at the end of the congress to promote the safe and effective use of traditional medicine and to integrate traditional medicine into primary health care systems.

A total of over 1100 participants from over 70 countries attended the Congress, as well as representatives form WHO Collaborative Centres for Traditional Medicine from all over the world.

The Australian Government has been an active participant in the development of the Beijing Declaration, which was drafted on the 30th anniversary of the Alma-Ata Declaration [PDF] (opens in a new window) that called upon countries to include and recognise traditional medicine (TM) in their primary health systems. 

The Beijing Declaration commits Australia to:

  • Respecting, preserving and promotion TM;
  • Developing relevant policies and regulations to ensure appropriate, safe and effective use of TM;
  • Integrating TM where feasible;
  • Undertaking relevant research and innovation in the field;
  • Establishing systems for practitioner accreditation and licensing; and 
  • Strengthening relevant communication and training for all health professionals.