The World Health Assembly is the supreme decision-making body for WHO. It generally meets in Geneva in May each year, and is attended by delegations from all 194 Member States. Its main function is to determine the policies of the Organization. The Health Assembly appoints the Director-General, supervises the financial policies of the Organization, and reviews and approves the proposed programme budget. It similarly considers reports of the Executive Board, which it instructs on matters upon which further action, study, investigation or report may be required.
The Executive Board is composed of 34 members technically qualified in the field of health. Members are elected for three-year terms. The main Board meeting, at which the agenda for the forthcoming Health Assembly is agreed upon and resolutions for forwarding to the Health Assembly are adopted, is held in January, with a second shorter meeting in May, immediately after the Health Assembly, for more administrative matters. The main functions of the Board are to give effect to the decisions and policies of the Health Assembly, to advise it and generally to facilitate its work.
The WHO Secretariat is staffed by some 8 000 health and other experts and support staff on fixed-term appointments, working at headquarters, in the six regional offices, and in countries.
The Organization is headed by the Director-General, who is appointed by the Health Assembly on the nomination of the Executive Board.