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Friday, 22 April 2016

WHO begins process to elect next Director-General

Editorial : As WHO shops for the next Director-General
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced that the process to elect its next Director-General is underway
NUJ Europe however observes that pressures of running the world’s highest profile public health agency in trying times (new outbreaks, mass migration and other challenges, with uncertain funding) could make the job of debatable attractiveness, but rumours in the World Health Organization hallways are that many possible candidates are likely to be considered to vie for head of the United Nations agency in Geneva. But the election process itself was just finalised for the changeover to occur in mid-2017, so it is too early to start naming possible candidates. The following is a look at the process leading to the next head of the WHO.

According to a statement by the world health body the Director-General is WHO’s chief technical and administrative officer and oversees policy for its international health work.
Dr Margaret Chan, who is the current incumbent director-general was elected in 2006 and will complete her second term on June 30 next year.
According to the statement, the first step in a rigorous process will be for member states to nominate candidates.
This would culminate in a final round of voting at the World Health Assembly in May 2017, with the new Director-General taking office on July 1, 2017.
“The process of electing a new Director-General takes more than one year and it involves some key steps.
“Member States will have until September 22 to submit proposals for nominations to the post of Director-General, at which point the names of the candidates and their proposers will be made public.
“In October, member states and candidates will be given the opportunity to interact in a password-protected web forum hosted on the WHO website.
“In November, over a period of up to three days, a live forum will be held, at which candidates will present their vision to WHO Member States.
“They will also be able to answer questions on their candidacy,’’ the statement read in part.
It added that: “In January 2017, WHO’s Executive Board will use a new electronic voting system to draw up a short list of up to five candidates.
“Executive Board members will then interview these candidates and nominate up to three of them to go forward to the World Health Assembly in May 2017.
“At the World Health Assembly, member states will vote in a new Director-General, who will take office on July 1, 2017.’’

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