World Health Organization (WHO)
WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.
The Constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO) was adopted by representatives of 61 states in 1946. The Organization formally came into existence on 7 April 1948 and became a specialized agency on 10 July 1948.
194 states from all over the world are members of the WHO.
Greece is among the first members states of the WHO and became full member on 12 March 1948 and has served in the Executive Board of the WHO three times (1951-54, 1976-79, 1991-94).
Greece is an active member of WHO and fully supports the work and the objectives of the Organization, including the six priority areas of the Medium-Term Strategic Plan for the period 2008-2013.
In this context Greece pays particular attention to the following:
fostering health security and development
improving the capability and the effectiveness of health systems to address public heath threats
coordinated efforts to combat public heath threats like Avian Influenza, HIV/ADS and Non Communicable Diseases
In his statement of the 60th Session of the World Health Assembly of the WHO, the Minister of Health and Social Solidarity Mr. Dimitrios Avramopoulos, pointed out, among others, that in the era of globalization threats against health are taking global dimensions, the linkage between health security and development, the importance of the capability of health systems to address health threats and the need to promote the primary health care systems and also the significant importance of the new International Health Regulations. He mentioned the Greek efforts in national and international level for addressing threats like Avian Influenza, HIV/AIDS and Non Communicable Diseases. He also underlined that Greece gives high priority on counteracting obesity and smoking, increasing voluntarism, addressing the problem of antibiotic resistance, on human rights and public health challenges of illegal migration, on urban health and the role of local governments in promoting health and sustainable development.
Concerning the avian influenza and the potential influenza pandemic following the recommendations of the WHO and the EU, Greece has already put in place national and operational plans. The Ministry of Health and Social Solidarity and the National Health Operations Centre receive informations on a daily basis on any development on this crucial issue. Furthermore Greece in November 2005 summon a Ministerial Conference of the Countries of the Black Sea and Cyprus, in the context of the South East Europe Cooperation Process, aiming at a common policy for those countries which host a large number of migratory birds. Greece has also participated in the Pan European Influenza Pandemic Exercise in November 2005 and has proceeded to the provision of Individual Protection Measures.
Greece is a key partner in the Stability Pact of the WHO Euro Region for South-Eastern European Countries and a major donor and partner for the mental health project.
Greece has also ratified the WHO Framework on Tobacco Control Convention and since May 2006 is a full member of the Conference of the Parties.