Change of leadership for WHO in 2003
Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director-General of WHO, has announced that she will not be standing for re-election after her five-year term ends in July 2003. In a letter to the secretariat on 23 August, she said she felt that WHO had made significant progress in her three main priority areas: putting health high on the international development agenda; mobilizing a new range of partners in support of health; and starting a process of change and reform in the Organization. Those objectives, she said, "go beyond the limits of any term", and WHO was well on track to attaining them and fulfilling the many demands being placed on it.
She concluded: "My decision to complete my work as Director-General at the end of my current term reflects the fact that I have had leading positions in political and public office for nearly 30 years, and would be 69 at the end of a second term. I will push ahead with our work every day that remains until July 2003, and I will continue to do everything I can to support the Organization and its noble cause in the future."
WHO's Executive Board nominates a candidate for the post in January 2003, and the World Health Assembly appoints the new incumbent in May, to take up office in July. The list of candidates is closed on November 17.