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World Health Assembly

The World Health Assembly is the policy making body for the World Health Organization. The assembly convenes for an array of affairs, fundamentally to create policies and set priorities for the WHO, other matters include guidance and recommendations to member states, Draft Global Strategy and Plan of Actions(DGSPAs), under the Charter of the United Nations to promote solutions to international health problems, such as the global COVID pandemic.

The World Health Assembly, being composed of 193 countries, serves as the governing body of the WHO. It is responsible for approving the organization’s budget annually and selecting the director-general every five years.

When WWII ended in 1945, its aftermath left many countries with extremely high disease rates and a great loss of basic resources and infrastructure. Though the need for an organization for the maintenance of world health was imminent, the UN was unable to instigate it immediately due to a variety of delays, most notably, the beginning of the Cold War.

However, on the 7th of April 1948, the UN was ultimately able to create the World Health Assembly with the signing of its constitution by 61 member nations – celebrated to this day as World Health Day. Since then, the organization has operated effectively on issues such as smallpox and polio eradication, AIDS, childhood immunizations, and the availability of essential drugs. The WHA has been single-handedly responsible for the prevention of over five million deaths across the globe since the year 2000.

Over the decades the WHA’s remit has expanded from its original focus on women and children based health, nutrition, and sanitation to the monitoring and coordination of a more vast range of health-related activities (such as genetically modified food, tobacco, drug use and road safety). At present the WHA’s work includes combating emergencies (such as the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19) and promoting the health and wellbeing of displaced refugees.

Being one of the most influential International Organizations in existence today, the WHO’s importance naturally makes the World Health Assembly an indispensable committee at SLMUN 2021. By stimulating this committee, we hope to educate and inform the contemporary youth on the current health crisis prevalent today, and encourage them to come up with new strategic methods on preventing and overcoming such global complications. 

We expect the delegates to maintain a thorough understanding of the works of the WHA and how its efforts were rendered towards the betterment of global health during the past years. We also hope to create further interest in the understanding of world affairs among any and all delegates who wish to join this committee.