120th WHO Executive Board session
22-30 January 2007
The WHO Executive Board opened its 120th session on 22 January 2007 with a speech from the new Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan. The 34-member Board is discussing a range of issues including measles, malaria, polio, tuberculosis, the prevention and control of chronic diseases, avian and pandemic influenza, and implementation of the International Health Regulations.
In her opening speech, Dr Chan highlighted recent public health successes and set out some of the threats to global health. "We begin our discussions in what I believe are optimistic times for health," she told the Board members. She outlined what she called the "spectacular success story" of measles. WHO announced the week before that deaths from measles have been reduced by 60% globally since 1999, exceeding the target of a 50% reduction.
The Board also heard a report from Dr Anders Nordström, who was Acting WHO Director-General until 3 January 2007, on the work of the Organization since May 2006. He outlined several achievements and told the Board that since the death of the previous Director-General, Dr LEE Jong-wook, in May, WHO has continued “focusing on improving the health of people across the world.”
Dr Anarfi Asamoa-Baah, WHO Deputy-Director General, at the 120th session of the Executive Board.
WHO Eastern Mediterranean Regional Director Dr Hussein A. Gezairy (left) being congratulated by Executive Board chairman Dr F. Antezana Araníbar of Bolivia. The Board reappointed Dr Gezairy as Regional Director for the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region.
Ambassador Sha Zukang, Permanent Representative of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations Office in Geneva and other International Organizations in Switzerland, addresses the Executive Board.
Dr Danielle Hansen-Koenig (right), the Board representative from Luxembourg, greets WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan.
Chairman Dr F. Antezana Araníbar addresses the 120th session of the Executive Board.
Dr Else Smith from Denmark at the 120th session of the Executive Board. The Chairman welcomed the two new members of the Board: Denmark and Afghanistan. The Board includes representatives from 34 WHO Member States. The individuals are designated by Member States elected by the World Health Assembly. The main functions of the Board are to give effect to the decisions and policies of the Assembly, to advise it and generally facilitate its work.
Dr Ahmad Sahah Salehi from Afghanistan at the 120th Session of the Executive Board.
Vice-Chairman Dr Balaji Sadasivan from Singapore addresses the Executive Board. Singapore will co-host a high-level debate on health and security issues on 2 April 2007, to mark World Health Day 2007.
Dr Viliami Tau Tangi from Tonga addresses the Executive Board.
Group photo at the 120th session of the Executive Board.