140th Session of the Executive Board of the World Health Organisation
Enlarge image 23.01.2017: Ambassador Dr. Ulrich Seidenberger and Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General, during the reception of the 140th Executive Board of the WHO (© StV-MD)
The 140th Session of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization will take place from January 23 to February 1 2017. The Executive Board is composed by 34 members, representing 34 out of the 194 WHO Member States. Germany is currently not a member of the Board. The Executive Board is preparing the decisions and resolutions for the 70th World Health Assembly in May 2017.
The Agenda of the 140th Executive Board is long and ambitious. Many topics are closely related to the goals and the implementation of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 3 on health, underline the importance of health as a single strategic goal but also as a cross-cutting issue.
Close inter-sectorial and inter-organizational cooperation is a prerequisite for the successful implementation of the Agenda 2030 in the field of health. Many global health challenges are closely linked to developments in other areas such as equality, education, economy, environment and climate change.
Antimicrobial resistance is one example for such a cross cutting issue on the agenda of the 140th Executive Board. The WHO adopted a Global Action Plan on this topic in May 2015. Another example is the close interconnection between health workforce and economic growth. The health sector creates many jobs. The Executive Board will discuss the recommendations of the High Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth on this subject.
All WHO programs are currently steering their activities towards the implementation of the Agenda 2030. This alignment is also reflected in the proposed Program Budget 2018/2019 to be adopted by the World Health Assembly in May. Other important agenda items are the implementation of the International Health Regulations, a global action plan on dementia, the health of migrants and refugees, as well as different administrative topics related to the reform of WHO.
Furthermore, members of the Executive Board have the task to shortlist the candidates for the position of WHO Director General. The Executive Board will select three candidates from the current six candidates – two female and four male – who will then be suggested for the position of Director General to the World Health Assembly in May 2017. The Executive Board members will conduct interviews with the candidates. The term of the current Director General Margaret Chan will come to an end by July 1 2017.
Some topics discussed by the Executive Board are also on the agenda of the German G20 presidency. The G20 - in the area of Global Health - will focus on health systems, threats through communicable diseases and Antimicrobial resistance. Functioning health systems are crucial to prevent outbreaks that may turn pandemic. A G20 health ministers meeting will identify possible gaps in the global health crisis management. The German government is working closely with WHO on this aspect.
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