Structure

The World Health Organization is a member of the United Nations Development Group.[61] Countries by World Health Organization membership status As of 2012, the WHO has 194 member states, including the Cook Islands and Niue.[62] As of 2009, it also had two associate members, Puerto Rico and Tokelau.[63] Non-members of the WHO include Liechtenstein and other states with limited diplomatic recognition.[62] 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.[64] In 2010, Taiwan was invited under the name of "Chinese Taipei".[65] 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".[62] 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

Assembly and Executive Board WHO Headquarters in Geneva The World Health Assembly is the legislative and supreme body of WHO. Based in Geneva, it typically meets yearly in May. It appoints the Director-General every five years, and votes on matters of policy and finance of WHO, including the proposed budget. It also reviews reports of the Executive Board and decides whether there are areas of work requiring further examination. The Assembly elects 34 members, technically qualified in the field of health, to the Executive Board for three-year terms. The main functions of the Board are to carry out the decisions and policies of the Assembly, to advise it and to facilitate its work.[66] Regional offices and regions of the WHO: Africa; HQ: Brazzaville, Congo Americas; HQ: Washington DC, USA Europe; HQ: Copenhagen, Denmark Eastern Med.; HQ: Cairo, Egypt South East Asia; HQ: New Delhi, India Western Pacific; HQ: Manila, Philippines The regional divisions of WHO were created between 1949 and 1952, and are based on article 44 of WHO's constitution, which allowed the WHA to "establish a [single] regional organization to meet the special needs of [each defined] area". Many decisions are made at regional level, including importance discussions over WHO's budget, and in deciding the members of the next assembly, which are designated by the regions.[67] Each region has a Regional Committee, which generally meets once a year, normally in the autumn. Representatives attend from each member or associative member in each region, including those states that are not fully recognised. For example, Palestine attends meetings of the Eastern Mediterranean Regional office. Each region also has a regional office.[67] Each Regional Office is headed by a Regional Director, who is elected by the Regional Committee. The Board must approve such appointments, although as of 2004, it had never overruled the preference of a regional committee. The exact role of the board in the process has been a subject of debate, but the practical effect has always been small.[67] Since 1999, Regional Directors serve for a once-renewable five-year term.[68] Each Regional Committee of the WHO consists of all the Health Department heads, in all the governments of the countries that constitute the Region. Aside from electing the Regional Director, the Regional Committee is also in charge of setting the guidelines for the implementation, within the region, of the health and other policies adopted by the World Health Assembly. The Regional Committee also serves as a progress review board for the actions of WHO within the Region. The Regional Director is effectively the head of WHO for his or her Region. The RD manages and/or supervises a staff of health and other experts at the regional offices and in specialized centers. The RD is also the direct supervising authority—concomitantly with the WHO Director-General—of all the heads of WHO country offices, known as WHO Representatives, within the Region.