World Health Assembly
The World Health Assembly (WHA) is the forum through which the World Health Organization (WHO) is governed by its 194 member states. It is the world's highest health policy setting body and is composed of health ministers from member states.
The members of the World Health Assembly generally meet every year in May in Geneva, the location of WHO Headquarters. The main tasks of the WHA are to decide major policy questions, as well as to approve the WHO work programme and budget and elect its Director General.
Members and observers 
In addition, seven agencies have observer status at the WHA - the Vatican, the Palestinian Authority, the Order of Malta, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, and The Department of Health of the Republic of China, commonly known as Taiwan, was invited on 28 April 2009 to participate in the WHA 2009 as an observer for the first time since losing its China seat in United Nations to People's Republic of China in 1971. The invitation was extended to "the Department of Health, Chinese Taipei."
The main international policy frameworks adopted through WHA resolutions include:
- International Health Regulations
- International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes, adopted in 1981
- Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, adopted in 2003
- Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel, adopted in 2010
In addition, the WHA has endorsed through resolutions a number of WHO action plans dealing with different areas to improve health around the world, such as:
- Worldwide eradication of smallpox, first endorsed in 1959, and then declared to have been won in 1980
- Worldwide eradication of polio, first endorsed in 1988, recently re-affirmed in 2011
- Control of human hookworm infection through regular deworming of at-risk school children, endorsed in 2001
- WHO global action plan for workers' health, endorsed in 2007
- Control of harmful use of alcohol, endorsed in 2010
- Enhanced global actions for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, endorsed in 2011
The WHA is also responsible for the endorsement of the WHO Family of International Classifications, a series of internationally standardized medical classifications, including the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF).
See also 
- World Health Organization. World Health Assembly. Geneva. Accessed 21 June 2011.
- WHO. Working for health: an introduction to the World Health Organization. Geneva.
- WHO. Countries. Accessed 27 October 2011.
- Beijing may help Taipei in WHO role. Posted by China Daily, 2009-03-26.
- Taiwan invited to attend World Health Assembly. Posted by The China Post, April 29, 2009.
- WHO. Milestones in the eradication of smallpox. Accessed 21 June 2011.
- WHO. Poliomyelitis. Accessed 21 June 2011.
- WHO. Sixty-fourth World Health Assembly closes after passing multiple resolutions. Geneva, 24 May 2011. Accessed 21 June 2011.