ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: In a major development, Pakistan was elected as chair of World Health Organization’s (WHO) Executive Board on Friday with Director General Health Dr. Assad Hafeez formally assuming office as Chairman of the Executive Board.
The 34-member elite group, considered as the highest global policy forum on health, elected Pakistan as its chair during its 141st session in Geneva.
The election was a two-tier process. The first phase was held at the regional level while the final phase took place at the global forum. Pakistan was first elected by the group of 22 countries, comprising the Eastern Mediterranean Region and later at the global forum.
The Executive Board is composed of 34 individuals, technically qualified in the field of health, each one designated by a Member State elected to do so by the World Health Assembly. Member States are elected for a three-year term.
Minister for National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar has congratulated the nation and said it was indeed a great honour for Pakistan and recognition of the important role the country was playing in the global health arena.
She said Pakistan had been chosen earlier as the host of prestigious regional conference of health ministers, to be held in October that will bring together Health Ministers from 22 countries in South Asia, Middle East, West Asia and North Africa.
Pakistan has previously served as Vice Chair of the Executive Board and is also member of the Board of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, the Minister added.