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    Peer Reviewed

    What's next for WHO?

    Nordstrom A

    Lancet. 2006 Jul 15; 368(9531):177-179.

    The unexpected and shocking death of Lee Jong-wook, Director-General of WHO, on May 22, the first morning of the Fifty-ninth World Health Assembly, placed WHO in the unprecedented situation of being without its leader at a peak decision-making season. Where does Dr Lee's death leave WHO? Remarkably, WHO has not been incapacitated, although his loss continues to be deeply felt. The organisation has maintained momentum in part because of his management style, which strategically devolved responsibility, and also because of a change in the way in which WHO is finding solutions to global health problems. In the past, there was sometimes a conceptual divide between the adoption of a resolution by the governing bodies as a generally good principle and the more painful realisation of it in practice in countries. The watershed came with tobacco control. The process to arrive at the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control was slow and difficult, fraught with legal complexities, and detailed negotiations over texts. But the end product is a powerful instrument that is already proving useful to Member States in enforcing a rigorous, internationally supported approach to improving health. (excerpt)
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