Health Minister Harsh Vardhan to be appointed as WHO Executive Board chairman

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on May 20, 2020

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan   -  PTI

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan is set to take charge as the chairman of the World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board on May 22, officials revealed to media on Tuesday,according to agency report.

Harsh Vardhan is at the forefront of India’s fight against the global pandemic and is currently addressing the coronavirus health crisis.

Health Minister Vardhan would succeed Dr Hiroki Nakatani of Japan, currently the Chairman of the 34-member WHO Executive Board.

194-nation World Health Assembly on Tuesday signed a proposal that appointed India’s nominee to the executive position, officials said on condition of anonymity. The chairman's post is held by rotation for one year among regional groups

Last year, the WHO's South-East Asia group had unanimously decided to appoint India’s nominee to be elected to the executive board for a three-year term starting this May.

Vardhan would be elected at the Executive Board meeting of the World Health Organisation on May 22, the officials noted.

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 of WHO comprises 34 executives related to the field of health, each representing a member country. Member States are elected for three-year terms.

The Board convenes two meetings in a year - one in January and the other in May, immediately after the health assembly.

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

According to him, India has done well in dealing with the disease and is confident of doing better in the months to come.

Published on May 20, 2020

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