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World Health Organization

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a United Nations specialized agency which is a directing and coordinating authority for health within the UN system. WHO is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends. WHO was founded on April 7, 1948. The Republic of Belarus stands among the states – founders of the Organization.

The WHO governing bodies are as follows:

  • the World Health Assembly is the supreme decision-making body for WHO. Its main function is to determine the policies of the Organization. The Health Assembly appoints the Director-General, supervises the financial policies of the Organization, and reviews and approves the programme budget. It generally meets in Geneva in May each year, and is attended by delegations from all 194 Member States.
  • the Executive Board is composed of 34 members elected for three-year terms. The main functions of the Board are to give effect to the decisions and policies of the Health Assembly, to advise it and generally to facilitate its work. The Board meetings are held twice a year in January and May. 

The WHO headquarters is located in Geneva, Switzerland. The Organization has 6 regional offices and 147 country offices.

The WHO Country Office was established in Belarus in April 1994. Since August 2022 the post of WHO Representative in Belarus has been held by Sergey Diorditsa (Russian Federation).

The legal basis for cooperation between Belarus and WHO includes:

— Basic Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Belarus and the World Health Organization on establishing the technical and consultative cooperation dated May 20, 1999;

biennial collaborative agreements (BCA) between the WHO Regional Office for Europe and the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus.

Belarus participates in the key WHO annual events: the sessions of the World Health Assembly, the WHO Executive Board and the WHO Regional Committee for Europe.

The priority areas of Belarus' cooperation with WHO are:

strengthening of the public health system;

surveillance expansion;

prevention and treatment of major non-communicable diseases;

improvement of the capacity of the public health system in order to monitor and control infectious diseases;

prevention and treatment of HIV / AIDS and tuberculosis.

Under the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus No.877 dated November 21, 2017, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus is the key government body for cooperation of Belarus with the WHO. 

Every year, on May 31, the World Health Organization (WHO) and global partners celebrate World No Tobacco Day (WNTD).

The annual campaign is an opportunity to raise awareness on the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure, and to discourage the use of tobacco in any form.

In 2019, Belarus held the republican informational and educational No Tobacco Campaign “Belarus Against Tobacco”, which was also timed to the II European Games as tobacco-free competitions.

In 2020, the Ministry of Health of Belarus timed to this day a republican information and educational campaign on the prevention of tobacco smoking as a risk factor for cancer.

In March 2020, WHO announced a coronavirus pandemic and since has played a central role in coordinating the efforts of states and international organizations in their fight against the new global crisis. With the support of WHO, Belarus has significantly the capacity of healthcare institutions and domestic production of drugs and medical products.

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