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Tuesday, July 22, 2003

:: World Health Organisation has a new leader ::
A TB expert from South Korea, Jong-Wook Lee, has been elected the new Director General of the World Health Organisation.

Dr. Lee has said that he will make tackling the AIDS pandemic + decentralising decision-making his priorities.

The retiring DG, Gro Harlem Brundtland (a former primer minister of Norway) was responsible for transforming the WHO into one of the most effective agencies of the UN and elevating the profile of neglected diseases such as Malaria, Polio + TB.

In 1987, Gro Harlem also authored a hugely influential report called Our Common Future which defined sustainable development as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Her most recent achievements have included ensuring unprecendent co-operation + international action in order to eliminate the threat of SARS and negotiating an anti-smoking pact which requires countries to ban or impose tough restrictions on tobacco advertising, sponsorship + promotion within 5 years! Pretty impressive stuff and clearly a very tough act to follow!

Earth-Info.Net sincerely hopes that the relevance + effectiveness of the WHO can be maintained, and that Peter Piot the head of UNAIDS (who lost the election for the top job) will stay within the UN.