GENEVA: Pakistan is set to lead the World Health Organisation (WHO) Executive Board, after its Director General Health Dr Asad Hafeez formally assumed office as chairman of the board.
The 34-member elite group ─ which is considered the highest global policy forum on health ─ elected Pakistan as its chair during its 141st session held on June 1, with 22 votes in favour of Pakistan.
The executive board consists of 34 individuals technically qualified in the field of health, each one designated by a member state.
The WHO’s executive board meets at least twice a year. The annual board meeting is held in January when the member countries agree upon the agenda for the World Health Assembly and the resolutions to be considered by the assembly with a second shorter meeting in May, immediately after the Health Assembly.
The main functions of the executive board are to advise and facilitate the World Health Assembly and to give effect to the decisions and policies of the Health Assembly comprising 194 member countries.
Pakistan was initially elected by a group of 22 countries making up the Eastern Mediterranean Region and later at the global forum by the executive board.
Minister for National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar congratulated the nation and said it was indeed a great honour for Pakistan.