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World Health Organization

The World Health Organization– a United Nations specialized agency which is a directing and coordinating authority for health within the UN system. WHO is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.

WHO was founded on April 7, 1948. The Republic of Belarus stands among the states – founders of the Organization.

The WHO governing bodies are as follows:

Еhe World Health Assembly is the supreme decision-making body for WHO. Its main function is to determine the policies of the Organization. The Health Assembly appoints the Director-General, supervises the financial policies of the Organization, and reviews and approves the programme budget. It generally meets in Geneva in May each year, and is attended by delegations from all 194 Member States.

the Executive Board is composed of 34 members elected for three-year terms. The main functions of the Board are to give effect to the decisions and policies of the Health Assembly, to advise it and generally to facilitate its work. The Board meetings are held twice a year in January and May. 

The WHO headquarters is located in Geneva, Switzerland. The Organization has 6 regional offices and 147 country offices.

On May 23, 2017 at the 70th World Health Assembly, the election of the Director-General of WHO was held, during which the representative of Ethiopia, Teodros Adhan Gebreyesus, was elected.

Mme Zsuzsanna Jakab is the WHO Regional Director for Europe.

The WHO Country Office was established in Belarus in April 1994.

The legal basis for cooperation between Belarus and WHO includes:

  • Basic Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Belarus and the World Health Organization on establishing the technical and consultative cooperation dated May 20, 1999;
  • biennial collaborative agreements (BCA) between the WHO Regional Office for Europe and the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus. Currently the two-year plan for cooperation between the WHO European Bureau and the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus for 2018-2019 has been signed.

Belarus participates in the key WHO annual events: the sessions of the World Health Assembly, the WHO Executive Board and the WHO Regional Committee for Europe.

The priority areas of Belarus' cooperation with WHO are:

  • strengthening of the public health system;
  • surveillance expansion;
  • prevention and treatment of major non-communicable diseases;
  • improvement of the capacity of the public health system in order to monitor and control infectious diseases;
  • prevention and treatment of HIV / AIDS and tuberculosis.

The Republic of Belarus, as part of its work with the World Health Organization, is actively involved in the development of the «13th General Program of Work for 2019-2023», which advocates the interests of middle-income countries in the context of attracting WHO tools, including financial ones, to Belarus. At the same time, the main focus is on prevention of major risk factors that promote the spread of noncommunicable diseases as the main threats to the Belarussian health care system.

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