Skip to main content
Start of main content.

Behind the World Health Organisation's Secret Ballot

The World Health Organisation will today announce their new Director General based on the results of a secret ballot of their Executive Board.

In an attempt to bring transparency to a process which is largely conducted behind closed doors, Bond University, in collaboration with the International Health and Disability Network, has hosted a public debate in which Director General candidates from around the world were invited to share their views on the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set by the United Nations.

Associate Professor of Public Health at Bond University Professor Harry McConnell chaired the event and says it was a rare opportunity for candidates to focus on the issues, rather than the politics, of the selection process.

“The debate gave candidates a forum in which to publicly air their views and policies on some of the key health MDGs, including child and maternal mortality, HIV / Aids and equitable access to health systems and essential drugs,” he said.

“While it’s not part of the formal selection process, it certainly opens it up to the public and brings an element of transparency to the proceedings.

“I’d hope that the selection committee seriously considers each candidate’s position on these issues,” Professor McConnell said.

Students from Bond University’s International Relations and Medical programs assisted in the organisation of the event, moderating an online community which spanned every continent.

“My International Relations students have been studying the Millennium Development Goals this semester, so it was a fantastic opportunity for them to hear the opinions and policies of the future leaders of WHO and experience the United Nation’s decision-making process,” Professor McConnell said.

This is only the second time such a forum has been held, with the last debate (also organised by Professor McConnell) held in Geneva in 2003.

Director General candidates from Iceland, Mozambique, Japan and Finland participated in a live web-streamed videoconference on October 30, with Kuwait, Mexico and Myanmar representatives submitting their submissions under special arrangements.

Forum Participants

Mr David A. Gunnarsson (proposed by Iceland)
Dr Pascoal Manuel Mocumbi (proposed by Mozambique)
Dr Shigeru Omi (proposed by Japan)
Professor Pekka Puska (proposed by Finland)
Dr Kazem Behbehani (proposed by Kuwait)
Dr Julio Frenk (proposed by Mexico) – submission pending
Dr Nay Htun (proposed by Myanmar)

More from Bond

  • Bond athletes clean up at Sports Star awards

    The Gold Coast Sports Star of the Year awards resembled the University Blues as Bond athletes took home a swag of honours.

    Read article
  • Bull Sharks stun premiers in round one upset

    The Bond University first grade side has made the perfect start to their 2023 campaign, defeating the Wests Bulldogs 32-17.

    Read article
  • Politics at heart of housing crisis

    Australia’s housing crisis isn’t the fault of dodgy developers and greedy landlords, it’s a product of politics and poor leadership, says a Bond University property expert.

    Read article
  • In pictures: Bull Sharks rugby season launch

    Bond University Rugby launched their 2023 season with a breakfast at the Fabian Fay Clubhouse.

    Read article
  • A student's perspective on technology in elite sports

    Medical student and cricketer Benjamin Rainbird gains new insights into the use of technology in sports during a debate featuring Usman Khawaja.

    Read article
Previous Next