Unprecedented “virtual” WHA responds to pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic informed both the content and the format of the 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA) on Monday and Tuesday (May 18–19), as WHO’s decision-making body met via video conferencing technology for the first time and focused on the COVID-19 response and essential governance matters.
U.S. critical of WHO, China

UNICEF announces senior staff rotations

In an email to staff on Tuesday, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore announced the agency’s latest round of senior staff appointments. She emphasized UNICEF’s commitment to striving for geographic and gender parity, noting that the appointments reflect this—“in addition to maintaining gender parity, we have improved geographic diversity to 43 percent programme country nationals,” Fore wrote.


In memoriam: Peter Salama, WHO Executive Director for UHC – Life Course

Dr. Peter Salama, Executive Director of WHO’s Division for Universal Health Coverage – Life Course, died suddenly last week from a heart attack. Salama, 51, is survived by his wife and three children.

In a statement, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus said, “Pete embodied everything that is best about WHO and the United Nations — professionalism, commitment, and compassion. Our hearts are broken.”


Notable SG appointments

UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced earlier this year the appointment of Volker Türk of Austria as Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Coordination in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General. Türk succeeds Fabrizio Hochschild Drummond of Chile who was appointed Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Preparations for the Commemoration of the United Nations’ 75th Anniversary. Mr.

IFRC internal audit reveals dearth of women in leadership

An internal audit released on July 18 revealed that only 5.9 percent of the IFRC’s national societies have both a female president and secretary-general, the top two leadership roles. Twenty-one percent of national societies have a female president and 31 percent have a female secretary-general. By contrast, nearly ten times as many have men in both top positions. IFRC’s Geneva-based secretariat has neither a female president nor secretary-general, and the percentage of women on its governing board has declined from 33 percent in 2009 to 17 percent in 2017.

Lagarde trades IMF for ECB

Christine Lagarde announced on July 16 that she is resigning as the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) managing director, following her nomination as president of the European Central Bank (ECB) on July 2.

The resignation comes two years before her term ends, and the IMF has not yet announced a successor. The IMF is likely to follow tradition and pick another European as its head, said the BBC.

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