Argentine Health Ministry Carla Vizzotti Friday assumed command of the Executive Committee of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) for the period 2021-2022 on behalf of her country.
Mexico will be in charge of the vice-presidency and Suriname will discharge the duties of the rapporteur.
While accepting the appointment during the 169th session of the Executive Committee, Vizzotti spoke about the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis and called for concrete, consensual and coordinated actions to put an end to this pandemic and prevent the next health emergencies, guaranteeing equitable access to medicines and vaccines to promote the effective enjoyment of the right to health and build a healthier and fairer world.
Vizzotti also insisted on expanding regional production and reducing gaps in access to strategic supplies and remarked that we continue to bet on robust multilateralism that involves collaboration, cooperation, [and] the active participation of our governments, industry, international organizations and civil society.
Meanwhile, PAHO Director Carissa Etienne underlined the importance of the Executive Committee because “it is the body that oversees the administrative and financial functions of the Organization so that the goals are met, and also formulates important recommendations to the Secretariat on risk management.”
The Executive Committee of PAHO meets twice a year and functions as a working group of the Pan American Sanitary Conference or the Directing Council. It is made up of nine Member States elected by the Conference or Council to serve three-year terms.
Currently, the Member States of the Executive Committee are Argentina, Bolivia, Jamaica (2021-2024); Costa Rica, Haiti, Mexico (2019-2022); Brazil, Cuba, and Suriname (2020-2023).