Countdown to Next DG: Get to know the 3 WHO DG candidates
All eyes are on the WHO DG election this week. The election reflects hard choices as the leading health agency faces increasing challenges such as the political unrest, climate change, increasing inequities in the world, criticisms of inefficiency and budgetary constraints, among others. The decision impacts the health of over 7 billion people in the world making the question of criteria for determining the results of the vote a very legitimate and important one. Will the election be based on candidates’ merit, credibility and past experience or will the geopolitical motives play integral role? A lot of speculation is being made as the process gets into its final stage. Amidst the uncertainty of results, key things to note and commend is that this year’s WHO DG election sets new standards for this highly political appointment:
The process has been made highly transparent with all member states electing the WHO DG for the first time and candidate’s election campaign process was made available to the public.
The candidates were encouraged to reach out to larger non-state actors in light of the Framework of Engagement with Non-State Actors (FENSA) and
Two of the three final candidates in the race are from low income and lower-middle income countries; if one of them gets elected it will be the first time that WHO DG is from a developing nation.
Following up on civil-society’s call to elect the next DG on the basis of objective
consideration, we at Women in Global Health have compiled snapshot of differences in key priorities and strategies of the top 3 candidates, with hope that member states would choose the next DG based on objective metrics.
Snapshot of Candidates:
Candidates responses on different challenges facing global health
1) Richard Horton & Udani Samarasekra, 2016, The Lancet http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31847-5