IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

World Health Organisation (WHO)

14th May, 2022 International Relations

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  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the recent second global COVID-19 summit called for a reform of the UN health body, and a review of its process on vaccine approvals.

Recent events

  • Non-State actor participation, without the right to vote, in meetings of WHO governing bodies, is foreseen by the Constitution of the World Health Organization (Article 18(h)) and has been the practice since the International Health Conference.
    • For WHO to achieve its objectives and advance its work, the organization needs to engage with non-state actors.
  • The onset of the pandemic of coronavirus (COVID-19) has, however, given rise to the need to reconsider the organization of meetings to ensure that necessary public health measures, including physical distancing can be observed.
  • In December 2020, India proposed a nine-point plan for reforms of the World Health Organisation (WHO), including changes in mechanisms to monitor health emergencies that can cross borders and giving the head of the UN body greater power to declare an international public health emergency.

About WHO

  • Founded in 1948, WHO is the United Nations agency that connects nations, partners and people to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable – so everyone, everywhere can attain the highest level of health.
  • WHO leads global efforts to expand universal health coverage.
    • It directs and coordinates the world’s response to health emergencies.
    • It promotes healthier lives – from pregnancy care through old age.
    • Its Triple Billion targets outline an ambitious plan for the world to achieve good health for all using science-based policies and programmes.
  • Working with 194 Member States across 6 regions and on the ground in 150+ locations, the WHO team works to improve everyone’s ability to enjoy good health and well-being.