Next week, I will attend the World Health Assembly for the first time, to be held May 22nd to May 31s t in Geneva, Switzerland. Various health officials including Health Minsters from more than 140 countries will convene to address some of the world’s most pressing problems. I am fortunate in that this year is an especially important one – it is the 70th anniversary as well as the election of a new Director-General, the latter happening only every seven years. The next Director-General will lead WHO through a crucial period of transition and reform. The increased transparency of the process this year has generated increased interest in WHO – citizens around the world will be watching, and we encourage you to stay engaged and learn more about WHO and the role of the Director-General.
The vote for Director-General will take place on Tuesday, May 23rd. In addition to the vote, the week-long gathering will focus on a health agenda prepared by the Executive Board including panels, briefings, and events driving global health. While I will be especially interested in the events focused on vaccine-preventable diseases and how to reach every last child, there will also be sessions on emergency preparedness for global pandemics – such as Ebola, Zika, and Yellow Fever – along with measures to address the rise in non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Anti-microbial resistance (AMR) will also be a hot topic.
All 194 Member States will vote for Director-General through a secret voting process and the new Director-General will begin his or her term on July 1, 2017. The three nominees are:
We will be providing coverage throughout so make sure to tune-in to our Shot@Life social channels and website for updates and announcements!