Washington, DC, 21 June 2011 (PAHO/WHO)— The 148th Session of the Executive Committee of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) concluded its second day of deliberations at the headquarters of the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization, with the discussion and approval of reports and strategies that will be endorsed in September by all the Ministers of Health of the Americas at the annual meeting of the Directing Council.
At the opening of the session, the Financial Report of the Director and Report of the External Auditor for 2010 were presented. Sharon Frahler, Manager of the Financial Resources Area, discussed the importance of the contributions for good performance of the Strategic Plan of the Organization. She noted the Organization’s compliance with the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS). The Report of the Director received an “opinion without qualifications,” stated Frahler, which she considered “excellent” news for the Organization.
The External Auditor congratulated PAHO/WHO on being the first agency in the United Nations system to implement IPSAS and underscored the challenges that the Organization faced in adopting the standards early on. The country delegations congratulated PAHO/WHO on the opinion received from the External Auditor and the adoption of the IPSAS.
The Director of PAHO/WHO, Dr. Mirta Roses, stated that she was proud of the work done in 2010 and pointed to the Organization’s creativity and innovation in being the first to adopt these international standards. She also commented with a great deal of satisfaction that PAHO/WHO has become a reference for other agencies that are in the process of adopting the IPSAS.
In this context, the progress reports on administrative and financial matters were also submitted and discussed: Status of Implementation of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS); Update on the Appointment of the External Auditor for PAHO for 2012-2013 AND 2014-2015. Also discussed were the Report of the Office of Internal Oversight and Evaluation Services and the Report of the Audit Committee.
In the afternoon, the Executive Committee received information on the Proposed PAHO Program and Budget 2012-2013. Daniel Gutiérrez, Manager of the Planning, Budget, and Resource Coordination Area, presented the health priorities of this initiative, as well as the potential scenarios. After an extensive debate, the delegations requested more time to continue discussing this item, agreeing to resume the debate on 23 June.
In order to finalize the budget debate, after thanking the delegations for all their comments and suggestions, Dr. Roses pointed out that PAHO/WHO is the only agency that uses personnel from the Ministries of Health in the majority of its Representative Offices and specialized centers and underscored the significance of the use of WHO Collaborating Centers to provide technical cooperation. She also mentioned the increase in efficiency and the cost reductions achieved through the adoption of new technologies and ways of working. Dr. Roses reminded those present that health is at the heart of development and is indispensable to the growth of the countries.
The Executive Committee subsequently adopted a resolution admitting the Sabin Vaccine Institute into official relations with PAHO/WHO for four years, and renewing the official relations between PAHO/WHO and the Inter-American Heart Foundation for another four years. It also adopted a resolution changing the deadline for nongovernmental organizations to submit their application to enter into official relations with PAHO/WHO to 31 December. so that the Subcommittee on Program, Budget, and Administration can evaluate them.
During lunch, the Meeting of the Award Committee for the PAHO Award for Administration (2011) was held. Another item that was taken up today was the WHO Medium-term Strategic Plan 2008-2013 and Proposed Program Budget 2012-2013.
In addition, the Strategy and Plan of Action on Malaria, discussed on Monday, was approved, as were the Strategy and Plan of Action on Urban Health and the Plan of Action on Road Safety, also discussed the previous day.
The Executive Committee is made up of nine Member States elected by the Pan American Sanitary Conference or the Directing Council to serve for overlapping periods of three years. The Committee, which meets twice a year, serves as the working group of the Pan American Sanitary Conference or Directing Council. The Director of the Bureau can convene special meetings of the Committee, either at her own initiative or in response to a request by at least three Member Governments. The Committee has an advisory advisory body, which is the Subcommittee on Program, Budget and Administration.
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