Press Release
20 May 1998

DR BRUNDTLAND INVITES WHO EXECUTIVE
BOARD TO INCREASE POLICY INPUT




The 102nd session of the World Health Organization's (WHO) Executive Board closed yesterday. Highlight of the two-day meeting of WHO's second-highest governing body was a speech by the Director-General elect, Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, in which she called on the Board to become more involved in WHO policy-making.

First on the Executive Board's (EB) agenda was the election of a new chairman. Sir Kenneth Calman, Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, will serve as Chairman for one year. He succeeds Professor Abdelhamid Aberkane, Head of the Intensive Care Department of Constantine University Hospital, Algeria.

During the two-day session the Board also reviewed WHO budgetary and constitutional arrangements and addressed issues such as the WHO Revised Drugs Strategy and the quality of biological products moving in international commerce.

Speaking to the Board on 18 May, Dr Brundtland outlined her plans for WHO. In future, the WHO Secretariat's work would be grouped into four areas: building healthy communities and populations; combating ill health; external relations and cooperation with other UN agencies, the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, donors and other stakeholders; and building sustainable health systems in Member States.

The Director-General Elect, who takes office on 21 July 1998, called on the EB to work with her in changing WHO. "What I would wish to see is a working relationship between the Secretariat and the knowledge base represented by the Board. I would welcome the opportunity for real policy discussions around this table."

Dr Brundtland proposed that the Board join her in more informal settings - such as a retreat in October 1998 - to focus on policy discussions concerning the main directions which the WHO should be pursuing under her stewardship. She has already suggested "Roll Back Malaria" &"Tobacco Action", "Health Sector Development" and "Health and Development" as policy initiatives and she invited the Board to help her formulate other health priorities.

The Executive Board is composed of 32 individuals who are technically qualified in the field of health, each designated by a Member State that has been elected to do so by the World Health Assembly. Member States are elected to the Executive Board for three-year terms.

In farewell remarks to the EB, the outgoing Director-General, Dr. Hiroshi Nakajima, supported the on-going reform process at WHO. "WHO's reform must be understood and pursued as a continuous process, the purpose of which is to keep the Organization vigilant and responsive to the evolving needs and circumstances of its Member States in a rapidly changing social, political and economic situation."

The Board formed a working group under the chairmanship of Professor J-F Girard of France to explore the complex issues related to WHO's Revised Drug Strategy after the World Health Assembly was not able to agree on a proposed resolution during deliberations last week.

The EB adopted a resolution recommending that all WHO Regional Directors be limited to two five-year terms in office. The Pan American Health Organization, which serves as the WHO's Regional Office for the Americas but which is a separate legal entity, is requested to consider this issue as well. This would bring the conditions of employment of the Regional Directors in line with the conditions applying to the WHO Director-General.

The EB announced that its 103rd session will take place from 25 January to 3 February 1999, while the 52nd World Health Assembly will be held from 17 to 26 May 1999.

Following the election of twelve new Member States as members of the Executive Board during the World Health Assembly last week, the Board's composition and the countries' representatives are listed in Annex 1.

ANNEX I

CONSEIL EXECUTIF: LISTE DES MEMBRES
EXECUTIVE BOARD: LIST OF MEMBERS


Désigné par
Designated by

Dr Kenneth Calman Président
Royaume-Uni
Chief Medical Officer Chairman
United Kingdom
Department of Health
London

Dr J.M. Kariburyo Vice-Président Burundi
Ministre de la Santé publique Vice-Chairman Burundi
Bujumbura

Dr K.A. Al-Jaber Vice-Président Qatar
Director of Prevention Vice-Chairman Qatar
Ministry of Health
Doha

Dr A. Meloni Vice-Président
Pérou
Director General Vice-Chairman
Oficina de Financiamiento,
Inversiones y Cooperación Externa
Ministerio de Salud
Líma, Peru

Dr M.R. Khan Rapporteur - Anglais
Bangladesh
Bangladesh Rapporteur -
English Bangladesh

Dr P. Dossou-Togbe Rapporteur - Français Bénin Directeur
adjoint de Cabinet Rapporteur - French Benin Ministère de
la
Santé, de la
Protection sociale et de
la Condition féminine
Cotonou

Mr H. Voigtländer
Allemagne
Director, International Relations and Cooperation
with the European Union
Federal Ministry for Health
Bonn, Germany

Dr A. Hembe
Angola
Directrice nationale de la Santé publique
Angola
Ministère de la Santé
Luanda

Dr J.K.M. Mulwa
Botswana
Permanent Secretary
Botswana
Ministry of Health
Gaborone

Dr A. Sanou Ira
Burkina Faso
Directrice des Etudes et de la
Burkina Faso
Planification
Ministère de la Santé
Ouagadougou

M. A. Juneau
Canada
Sous-Ministre adjoint
Canada
Direction générale des Politiques et de la Consultation
Santé Canada
Ottawa

Dr J.B. Ferreira Medina
Cap-Vert
Ministre de la Santé
Cape Verde
et de la Promotion sociale
Praia

Dr J. Jimenez de la Jara
Chili
Santiago de Chile
Chile

Mr Liu Peilong
Chine
Director-General, Department
China
of International Cooperation
Ministry of Health
Beijing

Dr C. Komodikis
Chypre
Chief Health Officer
Cyprus
Minister of Health

Nicosia

Dr M. Fikri
Emirats Arabes Unis
Assistant Under-Secretary
United Arab Emirates
Preventive Medicine Affairs
Ministry of Health, Abu Dhabi

Dr J.I. Boufford
Etats-Unis d'Amérique
Dean
United States of
Robert F. Wagner Graduate School
America
of Public Service
New York University
New York, N.Y.

Dr O.V. Rutkovsky
Fédération de Russie
Ministre de la Santé
Russian Federation
Moscow

Professeur J. Menard
France
Directeur général de la Santé
France
Paris

Dr L.A. López-Benitez
Honduras
Viceministro de Politica Sectorial y Desarollo
Honduras
Institucional Secretaria de Estado en el Despacho de Salud Pública
Tegucigalpa
Dr J. Williams
Iles Cook
Member of Parliament
Cook Islands
Health Consultant
Rarotonga

Dr B. Wasisto
Indonésie
Senior Adviser to the Minister
Indonesia
of Health
Jakarta

Dr E. Nakamura
Japon
Technical Adviser for International Cooperation
Japan
International Affairs Division
Ministry of Health and Welfare
Tokyo

Dr A. Alvik
Norvège
Director-General of Health
Norway
Norwegian Board of Health
Oslo

Dr A.J. M. Sulaiman
Oman
Director-General of Health Affairs
Oman
Ministry of Health
Muscat

Dr G.M. van Etten
Pays-Bas
Head, International Affairs Division
Netherlands
Ministry of Health, Welfare and
Sport
Rijswijk

Professeur J. Leowski
Pologne
Director, School of Public Health and Social Medicine
Poland
Medical Centre for Postgratuate Education Warsaw

Dr J. Limbassa
République
centrafricaine
Inspecteur général des Services de Santé Central African
Republic

Dr P. Dalaloy
République démocratique
Minister of Health
populaire lao Vientiane
Lao People's Democratic
Republic

Mr N.S. de Silva
Sri
Lanka
Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine Sri
Lanka
Suwasiripaya
Colombo

Dr R. Edwards
Trinité-et-Tobago
Chief Medical Officer
Trinidad and Tobago
Ministry of Health
Port-of-Spain

Dr A.L. Al-Salami
Yémen
Under-Secretary for Pharmaceuticals
Yemen
Ministry of Public Health
Sana'a




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