SEA/RC61/20 - Equitable geographical distribution of the membership of the executive board
AbstractThe expansion of membership of the South-East Asia (SEA) Region on the WHO Executive Board has been under discussion by SEA Member countries since 2006 in various forums. SEA Member countries have been considering the fact that current understanding of Article 24 of the Constitution (regional membership in the WHO Executive Board based on “equitable geographical distribution” by number of Member countries only) does not adequately reflect developments that have occurred in the last two decades in terms of demographic changes and the health needs of the populations concerned. Representation in the WHO Executive Board is important as it provides an opportunity for a select number of Member States to set and influence the global health agenda. Whether resolutions are passed in the Executive Board through voting or not, the recommendations and agreed text of resolutions have a direct bearing on the actions taken by WHO. Equitable representation from all regions is necessary to achieve a fair balance. The Sixtieth Regional Committee proposed the inclusion of an agenda item entitled “Equitable geographical distribution of the membership of the Executive Board” in the provisional agenda of the 122nd Session of the EB. However, during the finalization of the provisional agenda, the item was deferred to a later date. A recent Meeting of the Advisory Committee held in SEARO (30 June–3 July 2008) advised the Regional Director to convene a regional consultation on the subject to chalk out a strategy to move this important issue forward. The consultation was held on 13-14 August 2008 and included participants from both health and foreign ministries representing nine Member countries of the South-East Asia Region. The Sixty-first Regional Committee is invited to consider the Regional Strategy contained in this paper.
World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia. (2008). SEA/RC61/20 - Equitable geographical distribution of the membership of the executive board. WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/128712