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Category: International
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New Delhi, September 08, 2013:
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is organizing 31stMeeting of Ministers of Health of Countries of the WHO South-East Asia Region and 66th Session of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia at New Delhi between 10-13thSeptember, 2013. 

The President of India, ShriPranab Mukherjee will inaugurate the International Meeting on 10 September, 2013 at 11.30 am at RashtrapatiBhavan Auditorium. Almost 300 guests likely to attend the inaugural ceremonyinclude Hon’ble Health Ministers of the countries of WHO, South East Asia Region heading their respective country delegations, Director General, WHO (headquartered in Geneva), WHO Secretariat officers and staff, UN agencies in India, Intergovernmental organizations such as ASEAN and SAARC, Donors and partners, NGOs and partners, High Commissioners/Ambassadors from the countries of South East Asia region as well as from the prominent donor countries, officials from Ministry of Health & Family Welfare/Director General of Health Services, Government of India, Press and media. 

The event has international significance since election for the post of Regional Director, WHO-SEARO would be held during the Regional Committee Meeting and India is fielding a candidate for the position for the first time after 44 years. India has fielded Dr. PoonamKhetrapal Singh as its candidate for the post of Regional Director of the WHO for South Asia Region.She has earlier worked as Dy. Regional Director, WHO for the South Asia Region in New Delhi, and is presently working as Advisor (International Health) in the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. 

WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations System, consisting of 194 Member-States.The World Health Assembly is the supreme decision-making body of WHO and it is held usually in Geneva, Switzerland in May each year. The Executive Board of WHO is composed of 34 individuals each one designated by a Member State elected to do so by the World Health Assembly. 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. 

WHO is divided into six regions namely South East Asian Regional Organisation (SEARO): HQ in New Delhi, India, African Regional Organisation (AFRO): HQ in Brazzaville, Congo, Eastern Mediterranean Regional Organisation (EMRO): HQ in Cairo, Egypt, Western Pacific Regional Organisation (WPRO): HQ in Manila, Philippines, Regional Office for Europe (EURO): HQ in Copenhagen, Denmark, Regional Office for the Americas Region (AMRO): HQ in Washington D.C., USA. 

The Six WHO Regional Committeesmeet separately once every year to set policy for specific public health needs of the area and approve budgets and programmes of work for their respective regions. 

The South-East Asia Region (SEAR) of the World Health Organization, established in 1948, was the first of its six regions. The WHO South-East Asia Region has 11 Member States: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste. 

Thirty-first Meeting of Ministers of Health of Countries of the WHO South-East Asia Region and Sixty-sixth Session of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia are being hosted by India at New Delhi from 10th-13th September, 2013. 

Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General, and Dr. Samlee Plianbangchang, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia, will also be present with their team of senior advisers at both meetings. 

Some of the key technical discussions to be taken up at the Meeting of Ministers of Health are:- 

High blood pressure and its health implications: The ministers are expected to adopt the ‘New Delhi Declaration on High Blood Pressure’. 

Ageing and Health: The Yogyakarta Declaration on Ageing and Health 2012 sets out key action points and commitments on promoting ageing and health. The Meeting of Ministers of Health will discuss the progress made on these action points and will map the way forward. 

Health in the Post-2015 Development Agenda: As the 2015 target date for achieving the Millennium Development Goals approaches, there is a wide debate as to what development goals the global community should set next. The Meeting of Ministers of Health would contemplate on the same keeping regional preferences in context. 

Follow-up actions on the decisions and recommendations of the Thirtieth Meeting of Ministers of Health.The Meeting of Ministers of Health would also deliberate on the follow-up actions on the decisions and recommendations of the Thirtieth Meeting at Yogyakarta in 2012. 

Apart from Ageing and Health, the recommendations pertain to the implementation of International Health Regulations, Non-communicable diseases including mental health and neurological disorders,The role of WHO in managing emergencies,Health workforce training and education, Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Challenges in polio eradication. 

Some of the key issues that would be discussed during the session of the WHO Regional Committeewould beUniversal health coverage (UHC), Targets for prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs),Measles elimination and rubella control and Nomination of the Regional Director. 

Other Issues that would be discussed during the session are WHO reforms and Programme Budget matters, Implementation of the International Health Regulations, Progress Report on Malaria, Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework, Challenges in Polio Eradication and Progress Reports on selected Regional Committee resolutions. -- CCI Newswire

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