‘Aligning Participation in WHO with UN’ – World Health Assembly Seeks to Expand Palestine’s Rights

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. (Photo: via WAFA)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

The draft measure was proposed by several countries including Algeria, China, Indonesia, Iraq, Türkiye, and Venezuela.

The World Health Organization’s governing forum has adopted a draft resolution asking to expand Palestine’s rights and privileges in the agency in line with its “participation in the United Nations.”

After a show of hands with 101 in favor, five against, and 21 abstaining, the  77th World Health Assembly on Friday adopted the draft resolution on “aligning participation of Palestine in the World Health Organization with its participation in the United Nations.”

The draft measure was proposed by Algeria, Brunei Darussalam, China, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Somalia, Tunisia, Türkiye, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela, according to the Anadolu news agency.

The Assembly, it stated “decides, without setting a precedent, to confer upon Palestine in the World Health Assembly and other meetings of the World Health Organization, in its capacity as an observer State,” several “rights and privileges, without prejudice to its existing rights and privileges.”

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Specific Privileges

These include the right to be seated among member states in alphabetical order; the right of inscription on the list of speakers under agenda items other than Palestinian and Middle East issues in the order in which it signifies its desire to speak; and the right to make statements on behalf of a group, including among representatives of major groups.

They also include the right to submit proposals and amendments and introduce them, including orally and on behalf of a group; the right to co-sponsor proposals and amendments, including on behalf of a group; the right to make explanations of vote on behalf of the state members of a group; the right of reply regarding positions of a group; the right to raise procedural motions; and the right to propose items to be included in the provisional agenda of the regular or special sessions.

In addition, the right of members of the delegation of Palestine to be elected as officers in the plenary and the main committees of the Health Assembly; the right to full and effective participation in meetings convened under the auspices of the Health Assembly, are also among the rights and privileges requested for Palestine.

The draft resolution noted that Palestine, as an observer state, does not have the right to vote in the World Health Assembly or to put forward its candidature in WHO’s organs.

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Ongoing Genocide

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 36,379 Palestinians have been killed, and 82,407 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 11,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

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The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

(PC, Anadolu)

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