The Holy See officially became a WHO Observer State


World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters in Geneva
World Health Organization (WHO) Headquarters in Geneva (REUTERS)

On May 31, during the plenary meeting of the 74th session of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, a resolution was approved on the “Participation of the Holy See in the World Health Organization”. According to a document adopted by consensus, the Holy See officially became an observer state with the World Health Organization, without being a member.

Victor Vladimirov – Vatican City

The resolution was presented by Italy and officially endorsed by 71 countries. The broad consensus that led to this decision testifies to the international community’s recognition of the activities of the Catholic Church in the field of health care, charity and assistance to those in need, as well as the commitment of the Holy See to promoting multilateral dialogue in the world, the Vatican press service said in a communiqué.

In addition, the WHO decision “reflects the relationship that the Holy See has maintained on an ongoing basis with this organization since 1953, and testifies to the commitment of the family of nations to address the global health problems plaguing humanity through dialogue and international solidarity,” the message says. Hall of the press.

Since 1953, the Vatican has participated in the World Health Assembly as an observer ad casum by special invitations from the Director-General of WHO. The Holy See was also regularly invited to meetings of the governing bodies of the organization. On June 27, 1949, Pope Pius XII received all the participants in the Second World Health Assembly in a private audience at the Vatican.

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