Bhutan's Health Minister, Dechen Wangmo, elected as President for the 74th World Health Assembly


WHO's the decision-making body, World Health Assembly (WHA) met for its 74th session on May 24 including delegations from all UN health agency’s member states.

The World Health Assembly (WHA) is the highest decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO) where delegates from 194 countries attend the assembly every year in Geneva, Switzerland to discuss the organisation's priorities and policies.

WHA is focused on the specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board. According to WHO, the main functions of the WHA are to “determine the policies of the Organization, appoint the Director-General, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed programme budget.”

This year, the assembly will be held virtually from 24 May to 1 June due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation. You will be able follow proceedings of the WHA74 sessions online.

Bhutan's health minister, Dechen Wangmo was nominated as the President of the 74th WHA in 2020 by member states of the WHO's South-East Asia Region. On 24 May, the assembly officially elected Dechen Wangmo as the President and she will hold office for a year. 

For the first time, Bhutan is taking on the responsibility of the president-ship, a position since Bhutan became a member of WHO in 1982.

While this year’s World Health Assembly (WHA) was held virtually, health minister Dechen Wangmo was invited to chair the assembly in person as president. A four-member delegation led by the minister left the country last week.

The theme for this year’s session is “Ending this pandemic, preventing the next: building together a healthier, safer and fairer world.” Delivering her presidential address at the session yesterday, health minister Dechen Wangmo emphasised on multi-lateral cooperation and global vaccine solidarity in the fight against the COVID-19.

The pandemic can only be controlled when everyone is vaccinated. It means that equitable access to vaccines and a comprehensive global vaccine drive is the only way forward to contain this pandemic. It is time now for the global community to come together as one to ensure that every country in the world gets sufficient doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to vaccinate every eligible citizen. We must remember that only solidarity and science, and not solitude will get us out of this pandemic,” said the president.

The 74th World Health Assembly has also elected 5 vice president of the WHO’s decision-making body including Benin, Estonia, Guatemala, Mongolia, Qatar.

During the health minister's stay in Geneva, aside from chairing the WHA, she also will hold bilateral meetings with her Swiss counterpart, Mr. Alain Berset, Minister of the Federal Office for Public Health, and the President Peter Maurer of the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and officials from GAVI, Global Fund and other international organizations.

Related Posts

How the small Himalayan nation Bhutan combats COVID-19...

With just 37 doctors, 1200 vaccination centers and less than 3000 healthcare workers, Bhutan vaccinated 93% of its...

May 12, 2021 12:54

The sacrifice of an extraordinary King in these difficult times

“The most powerful leadership tool you have is your own personal example.” – John Wooden

Jun 14, 2021 16:57

Bhutan is hopeful of lifting restrictions on tourism after second...

It’s been 9-week since the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination campaign in Bhutan.

Jun 04, 2021 13:20

Bhutan will supply oxygen to India to alleviate dire healthcare...

An oxygen plant in Samdrup Jongkhar, eastern Bhutan will supply liquid oxygen to India.

Apr 28, 2021 11:22

Queen Mother Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck delivered keynote...

Queen Mother Gyalyum Sangay Choden delivered a keynote address at the 54th session of the Commission on Population and...

Apr 21, 2021 14:53

Bhutan Prime Minister, Dr Lotay Tshering attended Bangladesh's...

Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering was in Bangladesh from 23 March to 25 March 2021 on official visit as the Special...

Apr 14, 2021 16:30



The sacrifice of an extraordinary King in these difficult times

“The most powerful leadership tool you have is your own personal example.” – John Wooden

Jun 14, 2021 16:57

Bhutan is hopeful of lifting restrictions on tourism after second dose of COVID-19 vaccination

It’s been 9-week since the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination campaign in Bhutan.

Jun 04, 2021 13:20


6 reasons to get your very own 'Bhutan: Travelog'

A book that will tell you everything you need to know, see, taste, do, and enjoy in Bhutan? Take my money!

Jun 16, 2021 12:37

What are the 13 traditional Bhutanese arts and crafts?

“Were I to epitomise Bhutanese art with one word, that word would be colour... The attention to detail, the symmetry of figures…and above...

Jun 09, 2021 11:17


Support authentic Bhutanese handicrafts by local artisans

Whether you are interested in artisanal Bhutanese handicrafts or boutique sourced products with contemporary touch, the incredible...

Mar 25, 2021 12:09

Authentic Bhutanese Souvenirs from Eastern Bhutan

Every district and village produce distinct products in Bhutan. To encourage rural communities to produce more authentic souvenirs and...

Dec 25, 2020 22:13


What's with the unique archery culture in Bhutan?

In Bhutan, archery is more than just a sport. It is a way of life. The dancing, the singing, the drinking—it is a manifestation of the...

Apr 19, 2021 10:40

Contributing to the country through the love for football

It's been a month since the conclusion of Bhutan Premier League 2020. Daily Bhutan interviews Paro FC to find out more about the club. Below...

Dec 21, 2020 17:05


Bhutan is the perfect destination for luxury travel

The definition of 'luxury travel' has changed because of COVID-19.

Jun 01, 2021 18:32

8 most popular festivals in Bhutan that you should check out

Bhutanese festivals are colourfully vibrant affairs that draw crowds from all over the world.

May 14, 2021 17:15


What are some of the Bhutanese beliefs and superstitions

For a country deeply rooted in spirituality, you will find Bhutanese especially the Buddhist rely on astrology for major events in life....

May 25, 2021 11:17

Khata: The multipurpose Bhutanese scarf

“Khatas are the Buddhist equivalent of a hallmark card.” —Married to Bhutan by Linda Leaming

Apr 29, 2021 10:53

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!