Health Minister Harsh Vardhan to be appointed as WHO Executive Board chairman

According to reports union Health Minister Dr.Harsh Vardhan is set to appoint as the chairman of the World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board on May 22. The minister would succeed Dr Hiroki Nakatani of Japan, currently the Chairman of the 34-member WHO Executive Board.

194-nation World Health Assembly on Tuesday endorsed a proposal that appointed India’s nominee to the executive position, officials said on condition of anonymity.

India’s new appointment replacing the incumbent Japan was decided last year when the WHO’s South-East Asia group unanimously proposed New Delhi to the executive board for a three-year-term. The group also nominated India for the chairperson’s post held by rotation for one year among regional groups. Report said.

As a chairperson of the 34-member Executive Board, India’s nominee will work closely with WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. It is also reported that being on the executive board for three years, India will also have a vote in the short listing of the next WHO director general when Tedros Adhanom’s five-year-tenure ends in May 2021. The Board meets two times in a year – one in January and the other in May, immediately after the health assembly.

Earlier, addressing the 73rd World Health Assembly via video conferencing on Monday, Vardhan had said India took all the necessary steps well in time to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. According to him, India has done well in dealing with the disease and is confident of doing better in the months to come.