Geneva, 24 May 2013 (PAHO/WHO) — The World Health Assembly this week elected 12 countries as members of the World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board. Three of the countries—Argentina, Brazil and Suriname—are from the Americas.

From L-R: Tomás Pippo, Director of Health Economics, Ministry of Health of Argentina; Jarbas Barbosa, Vice Minister of Health of Brazil; Carissa F. Etienne, PAHO Director; Delegate from Suriname; and Marthelise Eersel, Director of Health of Suriname.

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.

Argentina has designated Tomás Pippo, director of health economics in the Ministry of Health, as its representative on the Board. Brazil's representative will be Vice Minister of Health Jarbas Barbosa, and Suriname's representative will be Director of Health Marthelise Eersel.

PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne congratulated PAHO member countries for their designations.

Other countries elected this week to the Executive Board are Albania, Andorra, the Democratic Popular Republic of Korea, Egypt, Japan, Namibia, the Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa. 

The Executive Board is composed of 34 individuals technically qualified in the field of health, each one designated by a Member State elected to do so by the World Health Assembly. Member States are elected for three-year terms. Currently Cuba, Mexico and Panama are on the Board.

The Board meets at least twice a year; the main meeting is normally in January, with a second shorter meeting in May, immediately after the Health Assembly.

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