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CFPC Position Statement in Support of the Declaration of Astana


The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) fully supports the Declaration of Astana.1

In 1978 world leaders, representatives of international organizations, and health authority officials gathered in Alma-Ata (now Almaty), Kazakhstan, and produced the Declaration of Alma-Ata.2 It established a public commitment to making community-driven, high-quality health care accessible to all. More than 40 years later, the Declaration of Alma-Ata remains a landmark document in the history of global health.

In 2018 more than 2,000 attendees gathered to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Declaration of Alma-Ata and to renew their collective commitment to building sustainable primary health care and supporting the United Nations’ sustainable development goals with the Declaration of Astana.1-3 The meeting included leaders of the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, civil society, health authorities, and youth as well as representatives of more than 50 United Nations member states.

The renewed Declaration espouses integrated population-level primary care, multisectoral policies and action, and empowered people and communities as being essential to the achievement of health for all. Family medicine is at the core of strong primary care. In many cases around the world, the discipline of family medicine was established to respond to the needs of the most vulnerable.

The CFPC has been a leader in family medicine for more than 60 years and is committed to improving the health of all people in Canada. By leveraging the diversity and breadth of experience among members of the Canadian family medicine community, the CFPC deepens the collective discussion about how the concepts of continuity and comprehensiveness of care in family medicine can enhance primary care worldwide. In addition to being the voice of family medicine in Canada, the CFPC can share its expertise in medical education and family medicine research with the global health community.

The Besrour Centre for Global Family Medicine at the CFPC sent representatives to Astana for the 40th anniversary of the Declaration of Alma-Ata, supports the Kampala Declaration and Agenda for Global Action, and continues to be recognized by the WHO as an important contributor to the fields of global family medicine and primary health care.4

As a hub of international collaboration, the Besrour Centre brings together global leaders, members of the Canadian family medicine community, and collaborators from more than 30 low- and middle-income countries to strengthen family medicine and support the ongoing development of high-quality primary care worldwide.

The Besrour Centre continues to work with its partners to champion and be a vocal advocate for better access to primary health care. It looks forward to expanding its relationship with the WHO, including supporting the growth of family medicine and related person-centred, integrated models of care.


1. World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Declaration of Astana. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2018. Available from:

2. World Health Organization. Declaration of Alma-Ata. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 1978. Available from:

3. United Nations. Sustainable Development Goals website. 2019.

4. World Health Organization. The Kampala Declaration and Agenda for Global Action. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2008. Available from:

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