Discover the World News Forecast . . . FIRST in Foresight Journalism

Executive board shortlists candidates for WHO Director-General

January 23, 2017 - SWITZERLAND

The 140th meeting of the World Health Organization Executive Board in Geneva will shortlist candidates for WHO Director-General and compile the agenda for the agency's 70th General Assembly in May.

Reuters reports that the six candidates to replace Director-General Margaret Chan, whose tenure ends in June are: Britain's David Nabarro, UN special envoy for Ebola during the crisis in 2014-15; Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of Ethiopia, a former health minister; former Pakistan minister Sania Nishtar; French former health minister Philippe Douste-Blazy; Italy's Flavia Bustreo, who is a WHO assistant director-general; and a former health minister of Hungary, Miklós Szócska. The agency's 194 member states will select one of the finalists at the May assembly.

The headaches of the moment for the WHO agenda in May include the Zika virus crisis, inadequate numbers of health professionals in developing countries at a time of great need for them, antibiotic-resistant bacteria - so-called superbugs - and underfunding. The New York Times, reporting on the Syrian refugee crisis and the underfunding of United Nations agencies, noted that WHO is only 27 per cent funded following years of cutbacks. Underfunding in 2014 is also blamed for slowing the WHO response to the Ebola crisis.

Six in the running to be next World Health Organization leader

Why the World Health Organization Doesn't Have Enough Funds to Fight Ebola (Mother Jones 8 Sep 2014)

U.N. Funding Shortfalls and Cuts in Refugee Aid Fuel Exodus to Europe (NYT 19 Sep 2015

Date written/update: 2016-09-28