Research Binder Friday: WHO

by Richard Zhao on December 2, 2016

Hey Model U.N enthusiasts, the training content team is excited to bring back “Research Binder Fridays” Where we will introduce and publish a piece on a specific Committee, Specialized Agency or UN body with useful tips and fun facts to jumpstart your research or to broaden your knowledge of the U.N.  

Here are some examples of Research Binder Friday, if you would like us to post an article on a UN body or Specialized agency, you can email me at

ECOFIN (Economic and Financial Committee)

DISEC (Disarmament and International Security Committee)

UNHRC (United Nations Human Rights Council)

World Health Organization

The World Health Organization HQ main conference room based in Geneva Switzerland

Committee history

The World Health Organization was established on April 7th, 1948 as a specialized agency under the United Nations principal organ of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Its headquarters is located in Geneva, Switzerland but operates in fully in 150 countries. The WHO acts as an advisor on matters of public health as well as a research facility that collaborates with other UN related agencies, NGOs such as MSF (Doctors without borders), and prestigious medical research facilities,

Committee Mandate

The WHO is often confused with Doctors Without Borders and other such NGO’s

Contrary to popular belief, the main role of the WHO is to provide expertise for health related issues. Recently, the WHO is widely known for their key role in the fight against ebola and Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). The organization has also been a key player in combating the spread of HIV/AIDS, establishing UNAIDS in 1996. The WHO has many projects focusing on a wide variety of health-related areas including

-Establishing research agendas of centres all around the world

-Preparation of emergency capacities in developing and third world countries

-Preventing and treating communicable and noncommunicable diseases

– Publicizing major risks to public health and raising awareness about public health issues

Recently, the WHO has been shifting some of their attention towards mental health issues. The World Health Organization is currently compiling detailed reports and studies on mental health issues and disorders more than ever before.

Major achievements

The WHO plays an instrumental role in the eradication of diseases, most notably smallpox in 1977, as well as almost having completely eliminated diseases such as polio and leprosy. The containment of SARS in 2003 and Ebola in 2014, are just two success stories of their many achievements in the world of public health.

WHO within the context of Model United Nations

Delegates in the world health organization should expect exciting and innovative debate, topics on the agenda could stretch from the Ebola crisis in 2014 to air pollution. Despite instinctive beliefs, one does not need an MD or a doctorate degree to be successful within WHO. Having a foundation for economics and educated ideas for costs of health-related development plans can prove to be pivotal. And above all finding innovative means to push for reforms proves to be the most effective and favorable in the eyes of the chair and of course your fellow delegates. As you should keep in mind the budget of most developing nations, Striking the balance between effectiveness and cost efficiency will be useful when you write your resolution. Good luck Delegate! 

Director General of the WHO, Margaret Chan.

Current WHO agenda

-Combatting mental disorders

-Eradication of cholera through vaccines (OCV)

-Further their efforts on preventing and treating in AIDS/HIV with a focus on Africa

-Extending adequate healthcare to refugees and migrants

-Increasing access to medical products

-Improve health outcomes and increase life expectancy

-Universal health coverage with emphasis on third world countries  

-Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs)


Insightful Resources:

Notable WHO achievements 2012

Notable WHO achievements 2013

World Health report 1998

World Health statistics 2010


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