“Dr Harsh Vardhan has been a true champion of Tobacco Control” – Director General, WHO


The time to act is now” says Dr Harsh Vardhan while virtually addressing 149th Session of the WHO Executive Board Meeting

New Delhi. 2 June. Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare  Dr. Harsh Vardhan, in his capacity as Chairperson, Executive Board, World Health Organization (WHO) addressed the 149th Session of the WHO Executive Board Meeting from NirmanBhawan today through Video Conference.

 Dr. Harsh Vardhan successfully completes his tenure as Chairperson of Executive Board of WHO today.

.Dr. Harsh Vardhan reminded the audience of the brave, distinguished and honourable men and women who as COVID Warriors across the world have given away their lives so that humanity may survive.

His speech is as follows:

These are moments of mixed emotions for me. On the one hand, I feel happy and privileged to have served this prestigious organisation. On the other hand, my heart feels heavy as I exit amidst a lot of work that remains to be done and as the planet continues to reel under the pandemic crisis and economic turbulence.

In May 2020, I was entrusted with the responsibility to be the Chair of the Executive Board. It was indeed an honour for me to lead the apex governing body of the World Health Organization during the 147th and 148th sessions of the Executive Board as well as its Special Session on the COVID-19 response.

It was a privilege to represent the Board at the recently held 74th World Health Assembly on 31st May 2021, and which I’m certain will help strengthen the COVID-19 response and accelerate progress towards the triple billion targets and Sustainable Development Goals.

I commend the World Health Organization for its steadfast support to all Member States throughout the pandemic, fully committed to the value of equity and the simple truth that no one is safe until all are safe. 

Director General of WHO congratulated the outgoing chairperson of the WHO Executive Board, Dr Harsh Vardhan for his pivotal leadership to global health. DrTedros made his remarks and also presented a gavel to Dr Harsh Vardhan in appreciation of his stewardship as Executive Board Chair.

 He appreciated Dr Harsh Vardhan’s personal participation apart from his official contribution as a Chairperson. He also congratulated the Union Health Minister for receiving the Special Director-General’s Award of WHO. Appreciating his contribution towards Tobacco control, Director General of WHO said that Dr Harsh Vardhan has been a true champion of Tobacco control from taking steps to stop pitting to starting a National Tobacco Quit Line and enforcing e-cigarettes ban, he has been instrumental in driving global efforts towards Tobacco Control.

Dr. Patrick Amoth, Kenya has been elected as the new Chairperson of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO). Apart from the distinguished members of the WHO Executive Board, the Director General of WHO, Dr. TedrosAdhanomGhebreyesus, Representatives of Member Nations, all the Regional Directors of WHO were present