The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) that is concerned with international public health. It was established on 7 April 1948, with its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. WHO is a member of the United Nations Development Group. Its predecessor, the Health Organization, was an agency of the League of Nations.
The constitution of the World Health Organization had been signed by all 69 countries of the United Nations by 22 July 1946, with the first meeting of the World Health Assembly finishing on 24 July 1948. It incorporated the Office International d'Hygiène Publique and the League of Nations Health Organization. Since its creation, it has played a leading role in the eradication of smallpox. Its current priorities include communicable diseases, in particular, HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis; the mitigation of the effects of non-communicable diseases; sexual and reproductive
health, development, and aging; nutrition, food security and healthy eating; occupational health; substance abuse; and drive the development of reporting, publications, and networking. WHO is responsible for the World Health Report, a leading international publication on health, the worldwide World Health Survey, and World Health Day (7th-April of every Year).
Its links with the International Atomic Energy Agency and distribution of contraception have both proved controversial, as have guidelines on healthy eating and the 2009 flu pandemic.
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The use of the word "world", rather than "international", emphasized the truly global nature of what the organization was seeking to achieve. The constitution of the World Health Organization had been signed by all 61 countries of the United Nations by 22 July 1946. It thus became the first specialised agency of the
United Nations to which every member subscribed. Its constitution formally came into force on the first World Health Day on 7 April 1948, when it was ratified by the 26th member state. The first meeting of the World Health Assembly finished on 24 July 1948, having secured a budget of US$5
GBP£1,250,000) for the 1949 year. Andrija Stampar was the Assembly's first president, and G. Brock Chisholm was appointed Director-General of WHO, having served as Executive Secretary during the planning stages. Its first priorities were to control the spread of malaria, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted infections, and to improve maternal and child health, nutrition and environmental hygiene. Its first legislative act was concerning the compilation of accurate statistics on the spread and morbidity of disease. The logo of the World Health Organization features the Rod of Asclepius as a symbol for healing.
7 BILLION+ OF
US ON THE PLANET, WE DEPEND ON THE OCEAN FOR FOOD. SUSTAINABLE
SUPPLIES MAY BE A THING OF THE PAST IF WE DO NOT ACT
TO RID OUR SEAS OF TOXIC PLASTIC
WASTE, HALT OVER-FISHING AND TACKLE CLIMATE CHANGE.
OFFERS A PARTIAL BLUE
GROWTH SOLUTION WHERE NONE EXISTS AT THE MOMENT. THE OCEAN IS THE 7TH
LARGEST ECONOMY VALUED @ $24 TRILLION, YIELDING $2.5 TRILLION ANNUALLY,
BUT IT'S GOING DOWNHILL FAST ACCORDING TO A WWF
REPORT PUBLISHED IN APRIL OF 2015 - MARINE LIFE HAS DECLINED BY
39% SINCE 1970. USING A MULTI-PRONGED ATTACK, THE TREND COULD BE
REVERSED IF WE ACT NOW.
As of 2013, the WHO has 194 member states: all Member States of the
United Nations except Liechtenstein, as well as the Cook Islands and Niue. (A state becomes a full member of WHO by ratifying the treaty known as the Constitution of the World Health Organization.) As of 2013, it also had two associate members, Puerto Rico and Tokelau. Several other entities have been granted observer status. Palestine is an observer as a "national liberation movement" recognised by the League of Arab States under United Nations Resolution 3118. The Holy See also attends as an observer, as does the Order of Malta. In 2010, Taiwan was invited under the name of "Chinese Taipei".
WHO Member States appoint delegations to the World Health Assembly, WHO's supreme decision-making body. All UN Member States are eligible for WHO membership, and, according to the WHO web site, "other countries may be admitted as members when their application has been approved by a simple majority vote of the World Health Assembly".
In addition, the UN observer organizations International Committee of the Red Cross and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have entered into "official relations" with WHO and are invited as observers. In the World Health Assembly they are seated along the other NGOs.
World Health Organization
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