North Korea, known for its harsh rule and nuclear weapons, recently got a seat on the World Health Organization’s (W.H.O.) ten-member executive board. This happened as the W.H.O. wrapped up their yearly meeting.
NEW – @RonDeSantis responds to a reporter in Iowa: "The World Health Organization is a bankrupt organization. Kim Jong Un is bad. But joining that? We need to be getting out of [WHO] and rejecting the WHO lockdown treaty. Not congratulating Kim about being involved in the WHO." pic.twitter.com/Tglx08UlUx
— DeSantis War Room 🐊 (@DeSantisWarRoom) June 3, 2023
Some people aren’t happy about this. One of them is Hillel Neuer, the head of U.N. Watch. He said that choosing North Korea sends a bad signal at a tough time for the international group. He pointed out that China kept Taiwan from joining, even though Taiwan has done a great job with health problems. He also noticed that the meeting criticized Israel. This seems odd because no other country or conflict has been targeted this way.
A Peek at the Leadership of the W.H.O. The W.H.O. is led by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. He’s from the Tigrayan group in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian government has scolded him, saying he backed the Tigrayans in Ethiopia’s civil war. After the war, he spoke out against the terrible situation in Ethiopia. He said the government of Eritrea was to blame for his uncle’s death in the war.
The Situation in Ethiopia. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) shared last week that the situation in Ethiopia is getting worse for over 800,000 people who had to leave their homes. They said this is happening even though the war is over. They also said there is a great need for more money for aid.
People who had to leave their homes held big protests last week. This happened because help like food and medicine was being stolen, forcing many groups to stop their aid. The W.H.O. pointed out Israel, a major player in Middle East issues, which Neuer pointed out too.
North Korea on the W.H.O. Board. This year, North Korea became part of the W.H.O.’s leadership team. They said they are worried about the health of the people living in Palestinian areas controlled by Israel. The cruel government of Syria has been on the board for two years.
Jamie Metzl, who speaks for the W.H.O., says that North Korea is one of the worst when it comes to human rights and health risks. But, he thinks it’s better to include them in worldwide health efforts because health problems are everyone’s business.
This way of thinking is like the one used to keep China in the W.H.O. This happened even though China was not truthful and did not share information during a health crisis.