National

Harsh Vardhan set to take charge as WHO Executive Board chairman

The main functions of the executive board are to give effect to the decisions and policies of the Health Assembly, to advise it and generally to facilitate its work.

The main functions of the executive board are to give effect to the decisions and policies of the Health Assembly, to advise it and generally to facilitate its work.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The proposal to appoint India’s nominee to the executive board was signed by the 194-nation World Health Assembly

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, who is at the forefront of India’s battle against COVID-19, will take charge as the chairman of the 34-member WHO Executive Board on Friday, officials said.

Mr. Vardhan would succeed Dr. Hiroki Nakatani from Japan.

The proposal to appoint India’s nominee to the executive board was signed by the 194-nation World Health Assembly on Tuesday.

Last year, WHO’s South-East Asia group had unanimously decided to elect India’s nominee to the executive board for a three-year-term beginning May.

The chairman’s post is held by rotation for one year among regional groups and it was decided last year that India’s nominee would be the Executive Board chairman for the first year starting Friday.

It is not a full-time assignment and the Minister will just be required to chair the Executive Board’s meetings, an official said.

The Executive Board comprises 34 individuals, technically qualified in the field of health, each one designated by a member-state elected to do so by the World Health Assembly. Member States are elected for three-year terms.

The Board meets at least twice a year and the main meeting is normally in January, with a second shorter meeting in May, immediately after the Health Assembly.

The main functions of the executive board are to give effect to the decisions and policies of the Health Assembly, to advise it and generally to facilitate its work.

Addressing the 73rd World Health Assembly via video conferencing on Monday, Mr. Vardhan had said India took all the necessary steps well in time to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

He had asserted that the country has done well in dealing with the disease and is confident of doing better in the months to come.

India is set to take over the chairmanship of the Executive Board amid growing calls, including by U.S. President Donald Trump, to investigate how the coronavirus originated in China’s Wuhan city and subsequent action by Beijing.

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 27, 2020 6:59:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/harsh-vardhan-set-to-take-charge-as-who-executive-board-chairman/article31649176.ece

Next Story