Country Focus

WHO Representative Office in Samoa, American Samoa, Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau

In May 1953, American Samoa, Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau and Western Samoa were assigned to the Western Pacific Region at the Sixth World Health Assembly ''without prejudice to any questions regarding its sovereignty'' as an area.

Western Samoa joined the World Health Organization on 16 May 1962 as a Member State after gaining its independence from New Zealand the previous year. It had been administered by New Zealand under a United Nations Trusteeship Agreement from 1946 to 1961,. In July 1997, Western Samoa changed its name to Samoa (officially the “Independent State of Samoa”).

The Cook Islands became a self-governing territory in free association with New Zealand in 1965. It joined WHO on 9 May 1984 as a Member State after the establishment of its foreign ministry. Niue achieved internal self-government in October 1974 in free association with New Zealand. It joined WHO on 4 May 1994. Tokelau joined WHO on 8 May 1991 as an Associate Member. It is the Western Pacific Region’s only Associate Member, as New Zealand is still responsible for its external relations. The United States of America still remains responsible for American Samoa’s defense and foreign affairs and represents American Samoa at the Regional Committee.

These countries and areas were covered by the WHO Representative Office in the South Pacific from 1956 to 1986. In 1968, a WHO Country Liaison Office was established in Apia, Samoa. On 1 October 1986, the WHO Representative Office in Apia, Samoa was established and covers Samoa, American Samoa, the Cook Islands, Niue, and Tokelau.

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WHO Representative in Samoa, American Samoa, Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau : Yang, Dr Baoping