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WHO Needs To Reform To Uphold Mandate Of ‘Directing And Coordinating Authority’ On Global Health

JAMA: Reforming the World Health Organization After Ebola
Lawrence Gostin of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University Law Center

“…In January, the WHO Executive Board proposed major reforms, which the World Health Assembly will consider in May. The outcome of the reform movement could affect the WHO’s status and credibility for a generation. Here are 5 reforms I propose needed to uphold the WHO’s constitutional mandate as ‘the directing and coordinating authority on international health work.’ 1. Ensure sustainable funding … 2. Reform the WHO’s regional structure by empowering WHO’s director-general to appoint regional directors … 3. Improve WHO governance by empowering stakeholders to harness the creativity of civil society … 4. Exert WHO’s constitutional authority by setting an ambitious agenda of health treaties and voluntary codes … 5. Build health system capacities to help prevent the next global health emergency…” (4/14).