The first day started with an address by the former Chairperson of the 63rd Session, the Minister of Heath of Vietnam, Associate Professor Dr Nguyen Thi Kim Tien. Following this, the election of the 64th Session’s Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, and rapporteurs took place. Congratulations were given to Dr Leao Talalelei Tuitama, the Minister of Health from Samoa, who was ultimately elected as the Chairperson.
The most important part of the morning session was the address by the World Health Organization’s Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan. Dr Chan lauded the region’s fruitful results on the MDG for tuberculosis and malaria, and on efforts being made for universal health coverage and hepatitis B elimination. However, she also brought attention to two major issues facing the region: non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and ageing and health. She requested Member States to make more effort in combating these issues, and to contribute to enhanced cooperation between themselves.
The afternoon session focused on the election of the Regional Director of the Western Pacific region. Dr Shin Young-Soo from South Korea was elected and will start his second consecutive term in 2014.
By Andy Chen (FMS-Taiwan)