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How well do you know the world health organization

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For nearly seven decades, important discussions have been held at the World Health Assembly, where numerous resolutions on WHO’s program of work and budget are approved or denied. In 2015, the assembly set the stage for WHO emergency response reforms.

Devex took a look back at some of the milestones that have taken place at the WHA throughout the years, as well as some historic moments in WHO’s history

Published in: News & Politics
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How well do you know the world health organization

  1. 1. HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION?
  2. 2. THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION’S EMBLEM, WHICH SHOWS A STAFF WITH A SNAKE COILED AROUND IT PLACED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE U.N.’S FAMED OLIVE BRANCH SYMBOL, WAS ADOPTED AT THE FIRST WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY IN JUNE 1948. THIRTEEN YEARS LATER, THE ASSEMBLY AGREED TO ADOPT AN OFFICIAL FLAG FOR THE ORGANIZATION CONTAINING THE SAME SYMBOL. 1948
  3. 3. RAJKUMARI AMRIT KAUR WAS THE FIRST WOMAN TO BE WHA PRESIDENT. SHE WAS A FREEDOM FIGHTER WHO BECAME SECRETARY TO MAHATMA GANDHI. POST-BRITISH RULE, KAUR SERVED FOR A DECADE AS INDIA’S HEALTH MINISTER. 1950
  4. 4. AT THE FOURTH WHA IN 1951, MEMBER STATES AGREED TO INCREASE THE DIRECTOR- GENERAL’S SALARY TO $20,000. TODAY, THE POSITION HAS AN ANNUAL SALARY IN THE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS. IN 2006, AT A SPECIAL SESSION OF THE WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY TO SELECT A NEW DIRECTOR-GENERAL FOLLOWING THE UNTIMELY DEATH OF DR. LEE JONG-WOOK, DR. MARGARET CHAN’S ANNUAL SALARY WAS PEGGED AT $270,945. 1951
  5. 5. MARCOLINO CANDAU WAS ELECTED IN 1953 AS THE SECOND WHO DIRECTOR-GENERAL. THE BRAZILIAN DOCTOR WOULD BECOME THE U.N. HEALTH AGENCY’S LONGEST SERVING HEAD. HE WAS REELECTED TO THE POST FOR THREE SUCCESSIVE TERMS — UNTIL 1973. THE TWO- TERM LIMIT ON REAPPOINTMENTS OF THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL WAS NOT YET IN EFFECT AT THE TIME. 1953
  6. 6. AT THE 11TH WHA, THE UNITED STATES MET SUCCESS IN ITS PROPOSAL TO MAKE AMENDMENTS TO THE ASSEMBLY’S RULE 67. THE PROPOSAL WAS FOR MEMBER STATES TO CONSIDER DECISIONS ON THE WHO’S ANNUAL BUDGET AS AN IMPORTANT QUESTION AND THEREFORE REQUIRE TWO-THIRDS MAJORITY VOTE AS PART OF THE ASSEMBLY’S RULES OF PROCEDURE. 1958
  7. 7. IN 1964, MEMBER STATES ADOPTED RESOLUTION WHA 17.50, WHICH SUSPENDS THE VOTING PRIVILEGES OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT AT THE WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY. THE GOVERNMENT WAS NOT ABLE TO EXERCISE ITS VOTING RIGHTS UNTIL 1994, WHEN THE GOVERNMENT FINALLY ABOLISHED ITS APARTHEID POLICY. 1964
  8. 8. IN 1966, THE WHO’S HEADQUARTERS BUILDING IN GENEVA WAS INAUGURATED. IT WAS PREVIOUSLY HOUSED UNDER THE U.N.’S PALACE OF NATIONS BUILDING. 1966
  9. 9. THE INTERNATIONAL HEALTH REGULATIONS WERE ADOPTED IN 1969, REPLACING THE INTERNATIONAL SANITARY REGULATIONS. THE IHR WAS INTENDED TO MONITOR, PREVENT AND CONTROL GLOBAL HEALTH THREATS RELATING TO CHOLERA, PLAGUE AND YELLOW FEVER. IN 2005, AT THE 58TH WHA, A REVISION OF THE IHR WAS ADOPTED BY MEMBER STATES, EXPANDING ITS SCOPE TO INCLUDE EXISTING, NEW AND RE-EMERGING DISEASES. 1969
  10. 10. THE WHA DECLARED THE GLOBAL ERADICATION OF SMALLPOX. 1980
  11. 11. NEWLY INCUMBENT WHO DIRECTOR-GENERAL HIROSHI NAKAJIMA PROPOSED TO MOVE THE CONDUCT OF FUTURE WHAS TO LATER IN THE YEAR, POSSIBLY OCTOBER OR NOVEMBER, TO CUT DOWN ON THE GROWING NUMBER OF POLITICAL ISSUES BEING DELIVERED AT THE ASSEMBLY, SUCH AS CALLS FOR THE RECOGNITION OF A GOVERNMENT OR STATE, OR DISPUTES OVER TERRITORIES. HIS PROPOSAL WASN’T ADOPTED. 1989
  12. 12. MEMBER STATES ADOPTED A RESOLUTION CALLING ON THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL TO DISCUSS WITH THE U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL MEASURES TO BAN THE SALE OF ALL KINDS OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS IN ALL BUILDINGS OWNED, OPERATED OR CONTROLLED BY THE UNITED NATIONS. 1993
  13. 13. UNAIDS WAS CREATED IN RESPONSE TO CALLS MADE BY THE WHO ON THE NEED FOR A JOINT PROGRAM ON HIV AND AIDS THAT WOULD COORDINATE THE ACTIVITIES OF DIFFERENT U.N. BODIES. 1996
  14. 14. THE WHA ENDORSED THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP TO STOP TB, MORE COMMONLY KNOWN AS THE STOP TB PARTNERSHIP. 2000
  15. 15. ALL 192 MEMBER STATES UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTED THE FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON TOBACCO CONTROL, WHICH REQUIRES COUNTRIES TO IMPOSE RESTRICTIONS ON TOBACCO ADVERTISING AND PROMOTION, INCLUDING ON PRODUCT LABELING. IT’S THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL TREATY NEGOTIATED UNDER WHO. 2003
  16. 16. THE LATE DR. LEE JONG-WOOK, THE SIXTH DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF WHO, SUFFERED A BLOOD CLOT IN THE BRAIN THE WEEKEND BEFORE THE 59TH WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY IN 2006 AND DIED ON THE ASSEMBLY’S OFFICIAL OPENING DAY. 2006
  17. 17. THE PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY OF INTERNATIONAL CONCERN, A DECLARATION MADE BY THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL FOR A SERIOUS GLOBAL PUBLIC HEALTH CRISES, WAS FIRST USED IN 2009 FOR THE SWINE FLU EPIDEMIC SINCE THE REVISION OF IHR IN 2005. 2009
  18. 18. CHAN COMMITTED TO A SET OF REFORMS IN RESPONSE TO RECOMMENDATIONS MADE BY INDEPENDENT REVIEW COMMITTEES AND THE EXECUTIVE BOARD ON ITS EMERGENCY RESPONSE WORK. 2015
  19. 19. MEMBER STATES WILL DECIDE WHETHER TO ADOPT OR REJECT THE FIRST EVER VIRAL HEPATITIS STRATEGY.2016

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