Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually addressed the 76th Session of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.
PM Modi said the pandemic also highlighted a need to boost global health equity while India showed its commitment to international cooperation by shipping almost 300 million vaccine doses to more than 100 countries.
World Health Assembly
• 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 main functions of the World Health Assembly are:
i) To determine the policies of the organisation.
ii) Appoint the director-general.
iii) Supervise financial policies.
iv) Review and approve the proposed programme budget.
• The Health Assembly is held annually in Geneva, Switzerland.
• The 76th Session of the World Health Assembly is being held in Geneva from May 21-30.
• This year’s session of the World Health Assembly will determine the immediate and longer-term future of WHO, starting with the programme budget for the next two years, key decisions about the sustainable financing of the organisation and changes put in place to improve WHO’s processes and accountability. Delegates will also deliberate about the critical role that WHO has in the Global Health Emergency Architecture.
• The backdrop to these issues is the organisation’s 75th anniversary, with the highlights of its collective global health achievements since WHO’s creation in 1948. It will review last year’s progress, accomplishments and challenges along with future priorities across the key pillars of WHO’s work: Universal Health Coverage, Emergencies, Promoting Health and Well-being.
World Health Organisation
• The WHO is an agency of the United Nations set up in 1948 to improve health globally. It has more than 8,000 people working in 150 country offices, six regional offices and its Geneva headquarters.
• The WHO has 194 Member States.
• Its director general is elected for a five-year term.
• The WHO’s stated aim is “to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable”.
• It has no power to impose health policies on national governments, but acts as an adviser and offers guidance on best practice in disease prevention and health improvement.
It has three main strands of work:
i) Aiming for universal health coverage in every country.
ii) Preventing and responding to acute emergencies.
iii) Promoting health and well-being for all.
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