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World Health Assembly

Focus: GS-II International Relations, Prelims

Why in News?

Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare addressed 75th session of World Health Assembly WHO HQ, Geneva.

World Health Organization (WHO)

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health.
  • It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Its main objective is ensuring “the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health.”
  • The WHO’s broad mandate includes advocating for universal healthcare, monitoring public health risks, coordinating responses to health emergencies, and promoting human health and well-being.
  • The World Health Assembly (WHA), composed of representatives from all 194 member states, serves as the agency’s supreme decision-making body.

World Health Assembly (WHA)

  • The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of WHO.
  • It is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States and focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board.
  • The Health Assembly is held annually in Geneva, Switzerland (sometimes in special sessions).

The main functions of the World Health Assembly are:

  • To determine the policies of the Organization
  • Appoint the Director-General
  • Supervise financial policies
  • Review and approve the proposed programme budget.
  • Reporting to the Economic and Social Council in accordance with any agreement between the Organization and the United Nations.
The Health Assembly is composed of delegates representing Member States.
  • Each Member State is represented by not more than three delegates, one of whom is designated by the Member as chief delegate.
  • These delegates are chosen from among persons most qualified by their technical competence in the field of health, preferably representing the national health administration of the Member.
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