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The Holy See is made a permanent observer of the WHO

The World Health Assembly named the Holy See a nonmember state observer of the World Health Organization (WHO). The move is an official recognition of the Vatican’s role in matters coming before the international health organization, according to a Catholic News Service report.

At its annual assembly, a resolution was adopted on May 31 that “formalizes the participation of the Holy See in the work of the World Health Organization as a nonmember state observer.” 

Since 1948 the World Health Organization has directed and coordinated international health policy within the United Nations system. The WHO Constitution states its main objective as “the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health.”

An official nonmembers state observer

The resolution authorizes the Holy See to participate in the general debate of the Health Assembly, to raise points of order relating the any proceedings involving the Holy See, and to cosponsor draft resolutions and decisions that make reference to the Holy See.

Noting that the Holy See has been regularly attending sessions of the Health Assembly as an Observer since 1953, the resolution also acknowledged the other international intergovernmental organizations that the Holy See belongs to.  

Read more at Aleteia

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