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World Health Assembly Opens In Geneva; Member States To Elect New DG, Address Budget, Outbreak Preparedness, Other Issues

Agence France-Presse: Reform on the menu as WHO votes for new chief
“The World Health Organization’s 194 members on Tuesday choose among three candidates to replace Margaret Chan as global health supremo, with each pledging to reform an agency under scrutiny…” (5/23).

CIDRAP News: WHA hears Chan’s farewell, prepares to pick new WHO head
“…About 3,500 delegates from the WHO’s 194 member states, many of them health ministers, are at the WHA, the decision-making body of the WHO. The meeting runs through May 31. Topics will include the WHO’s budget for 2018-19, emergency response programs and policies, the International Health Regulations, and pandemic influenza preparedness. Discussions will also cover polio, antimicrobial resistance, access to medicines and vaccines, and improving vector control…” (Schnirring, 5/22).

Global Health NOW: #WHA70’s Opening Day: Not Quite All Together
“…One opening speaker even quoted Alexandre Dumas’s Three Musketeers: ‘One for all and all for one!’ While the meeting kicked off in that spirit, things went south pretty quickly. The routine selection of the president of the Assembly president drew an angry response from the Ukrainian delegation. When Veronika Skvortsova, Russia’s minister of health, was nominated for the position, Ukraine’s delegate rejected the proposal because of Russia’s actions in Ukraine. … Skvortsova was elected by acclamation…” (Simpson, 5/22).

Global Health NOW: Inside the WHO Director-General Election
“Though puffs of white smoke won’t be used to signal a decision, Tuesday’s election of director general of WHO has all the secrecy and drama of a Papal conclave. Having wrapped up their globetrotting campaigns, the three finalists — Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, David Nabarro, and Sania Nishtar — have one last pitch to make to the member states on Tuesday morning to the 70th World Health Assembly…” (Simpson, 5/22).

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