The Security Council was established by the UN Charter in 1945. It is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations. India through  non -permanent membership in 2020 is committed to promoting responsible & inclusive solutions to international peace & security and multilateralism. UN is a very important subject in UPSC exams, This article explains the functions and role of the WHO in world affairs in the context of the IAS Exam.


  • WHO
  • objectives and work
  • WHO's contribution to India


  • World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations’ specialized agency for Health was founded in 1948
  • Its headquarters are situated in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • There are 194 Member States, 150 country offices, six regional offices.
  • It is an inter-governmental organization and works in collaboration with its member states usually through the Ministries of Health.
  • The WHO provides leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.


  • WHO works with all Member States to support them to achieve the highest standard of health for all people.
  • WHO has  staff working in 149 country offices. These country teams advise ministries of health and other sectors on public health issues and provide support to plan, implement and monitor health programmes.
  • WHO works closely with other United Nations agencies, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, the private sector and affected communities to improve essential prevention, treatment and health care services. WHO country teams also support advocacy and resource mobilization efforts.
  • WHO acts as a knowledge broker and facilitates exchanges between countries, encouraging them to work together to pursue solutions to common challenges.


  • The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of WHO.
  • It is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States and focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board.
  • The main functions of the World Health Assembly are to determine the policies of the Organization, appoint the Director-General, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed programme budget.
  • The Health Assembly is held annually in Geneva, Switzerland.


The WHO Country Office for India is headquartered in Delhi with country-wide presence. The WHO Country Office for India’s areas of work are enshrined in its new Country Cooperation Strategy (CCS) 2012-2017.

WHO is staffed by health professionals, other experts and support staff working at headquarters in Geneva, six regional offices and country offices. In carrying out its activities and fulfilling its objectives, WHO's secretariat focuses its work on the following six core functions:

  • providing leadership on matters critical to health and engaging in partnerships where joint action is needed;
  • shaping the research agenda and stimulating the generation, translation and dissemination of valuable knowledge;
  • setting norms and standards and promoting and monitoring their implementation;
  • articulating ethical and evidence-based policy options;
  • providing technical support, catalysing change, and building sustainable institutional capacity; and
  • monitoring the health situation and assessing health trends.

These core functions are set out in the 11th General Programme of Work, which provides the framework for organization-wide programme of work, budget, resources and results. Entitled "Engaging for health", it covers the 10-year period from 2006 to 2015.

WHO India Country Cooperation Strategy 2019–2023

‘The WHO India Country Cooperation Strategy 2019–2023: A Time of Transition’ has been jointly developed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW) of the Government of India (GoI) and the WHO Country Office for India. The Country Cooperation Strategy (CCS), provides a strategic roadmap for WHO to work with the GoI towards achieving its health sector goals, improving the health of its population and bringing in transformative changes in the health sector.

The India CCS is one of the first that fully aligns itself with the newly adopted WHO 13th General Programme of Work and its 'triple billion' targets, the Sustainable Development Goals and the WHO South-East Asia Region’s eight Flagship Priorities. The CCS also captures the work of the United Nations Sustainable Development Framework for 2018–2022.

The CCS outlines how WHO can support the MoHFW and allied Ministries to drive impact at the country level. The CCS builds on other key strategic policy documents including India’s National Health Policy 2017, the many pathbreaking initiatives India has introduced — from Ayushman Bharat to its National Viral Hepatitis Control Programme and promotion of digital health amongst others.

This CCS not only builds upon the work that WHO has been supporting out in the last several years, but also expands to address complex challenges–such as the prevention of NCDs, the control of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), the reduction of air pollution, and the prevention and treatment of mental illnesses — WHO will further expand its collaboration with a broader set of government sectors and other stakeholders beyond health, under the overall guidance of the MoHFW, as well as continue to work collaboratively with other United Nations (UN) agencies and international partners.

WHO’s technical support to the Government of India will fall under the following four strategic priorities to contribute India’s health agenda:

The period of this CCS is expected to bring rapid and significant changes to India’s health sector and to improve access to quality health care, especially to the vulnerable and underserved populations.