Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan is taking over as the Chairman of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO). He will assume charge on May 22.
NewsMobile takes an in-depth look at what this means:
What is the Executive Board of the WHO?
The World Health Organization (WHO) is a Geneva-based specialized Agency of the UN. It is responsible for maintaining public health at the international level.
The Executive Board of the WHO generally gives effect to decisions taken by the WHO, facilitates its work, and renders advice when called upon to do so.
The Board meets twice a year in January and May.
The Board has 34 technical members who are qualified in the field of Health. The member states are elected for a term of three years.
How did India assume the Chair of this organization?
It was only last year that the WHO’s South-East Asia group elected India unanimously to the Executive Board for a term of three years.
From then onwards this is only a formality that the Chairmanship comes to it by rotation.
What does this mean for India?
India’s immediate priority would be to ensure that a united COVID-19 response is delivered under the Indian leadership. Matters related to vaccines, prevention of the virus spread, and other related matters will be a top priority.
India would also like to use this opportunity to lead the international effort to hold China responsible for its acts of alleged negligence in handling the pandemic in its initial phases.
This will also serve as an opportunity for India to promote its brand of AYUSH and other initiatives such as E-VIN and more.