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Honour For India That Dr Harsh Vardhan Will Lead WHO Exec Board Amid Covid: Piyush Goyal

Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal congratulated Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on his forthcoming office-taking as Chairman of WHO Executive Board

Piyush Goyal

Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal congratulated Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on his forthcoming office-taking as the Chairman of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Executive Board. Praising his level of expertise and long-standing experience, Goyal said that it is an honour for the country that Dr Vardhan will lead the world during this pandemic.

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Harsh Vardhan to be WHO Executive Board Chairman

After the 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA) meet that took place on Tuesday via video conferencing, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan is set to take charge as the chairman of the World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board on May 22. The executive board which is composed of 34 technically qualified members elected for three-year terms, will hold a meeting on May 22.

Dr Harsh Vardhan, who is at the forefront of India's battle against COVID-19, will succeed Dr Hiroki Nakatani of Japan, currently the Chairman of the WHO Executive Board. As India was elected to the Board, the country nominated Dr, Harsh Vardhan as the chairman. The proposal was signed by the 194-nation World Health Assembly. 

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India in Executive Board

India was among 10 nations that were elected by the 73rd World Health Assembly to the Executive Board of the WHO for a period of three years. The other new members include Botswana, Colombia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Oman, Republic of Korea, Russia, and the United Kingdom.

One of the primary functions of the Board is to implement the decisions and policies of the WHA and facilitate its work. The chairman of the board is selected on a rotational basis for one year among regional groups, whereas the WHA is the decision-making body of the WHO. It was decided unanimously in 2019 that India will hold the chairperson’s position this year after the WHO’s South-East Asia group proposed New Delhi for the executive board for a three-year term.

Functions of Executive board

The Executive Board is composed of 34 individuals from the field of health, each one by elected by member states. The Board holds two meetings annually- the first one in January and a shorter meeting in May immediately after the World Health Assembly. The principal functions of the Executive Board are to give effect to the decisions and policies of the Health Assembly, to advise it and to facilitate its work. 

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