World Health Organization presents update on WHO reform process

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Assistant Director-General for General Management Mohamed Abdi Jama of the World Health Organization (WHO) presented an update today on progress in the WHO reform process during the first four months of 2013.

Reform is a gradual process with some areas advancing faster than others, noted Abdi Jama as he addressed the morning plenary session of the 52nd Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), adding that the new General Program of Work and Program Budget have also been approved.

The three broad areas of reform are the programmatic, which seeks to improve health outcomes; governance, which aims to bring greater coherence in global health with WHO playing a leading role; and managerial, through the pursuit of excellence, effectiveness, and efficiency in an institution that is responsive, transparent, and accountable.

Representatives from the countries of the Americas commented on the financing and distribution of WHO voluntary contributions, relations with non-State partners, accountability, and transparency, among other topics. Delegates called for equal treatment in the distribution of contributions among the various WHO Regions and ensuring preservation of the interests of the Americas.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan highlighted the advances in the Organization’s programmatic area, pointing out that this allows a better approach than before by having health priorities and in what WHO can do each biennium. Among the challenges, she identified the alignment between WHO Headquarters, the six WHO Regional Offices, and the 150 Representative Offices in member countries. “We are making progress, and it is due to your commitment,” she assured delegates from countries of the Americas.

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