World Health Assembly

World Health Assembly

World Health Assembly

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The World Health Assembly (WHA) is the forum through which the World Health Organization (WHO) is governed by its 193 member states. It is the world's highest health policy setting body and is composed of health ministers from member states.

The members of the World Health Assembly generally meet every year in May in Geneva, the location of WHO Headquarters. The main tasks of the WHA are to decide major policy questions, as well as to approve the WHO work programme and budget and elect its Director General.

Members and observers

The original membership of the WHA, at the first assembly held in 1948, numbered 55 member states.

In addition, seven agencies have observer status at the WHA - the Vatican, the Palestinian Authority, the Order of Malta, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, and Chinese Taipei.

The Department of Health of the Republic of China, commonly known as Taiwan, was invited on 28 April 2009 to participate in the WHA 2009 as an observer for the first time since losing its United Nations membership to China in 1971. The invitation was extended to "the Department of Health, Chinese Taipei." Posted by China Daily,...
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